Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Students with disabilities who participate in a fully inclusive educational program have failed to meet district or state goals for adequate yearly progress. This student population is explicitly recognized in state and federal accountability systems. The purpose for this study was to determine how certain factors affected the implementation of inclusive services at one school. This study investigated how teachers' attitudes and perceptions toward inclusion, level of education, exposure to people/students with disabilities, level of support, and knowledge of laws governing the education of students with disabilities affected inclusive classrooms. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences was used as the theoretical framework to present information about multiple intelligences and differentiated strategies that assisted in the implementation of inclusive services. The sample included 40 teachers who were working in inclusive settings. Teacher Attitudes Toward Inclusion Scale, 1-on-1 interviews, and end-of course scores were used in this sequential explanatory mixed methods study. The quantitative data were analyzed with t tests and ANOVAs, and the qualitative data were analyzed through hand transcription and locating emerging themes. Data showed that teachers had a slightly negative attitude toward inclusion, and student test scores were affected as a result. There were 2 statistically significant differences in attitudes of special education compared to regular education teachers and an average level of knowledge compared to those having very good knowledge of special education laws. The project created based on these results was a series of workshops for school staff. These workshops on inclusive practices could close the achievement gap for this student population and increase teacher effectiveness.