Date of Conferral







Susana Verdinelli


The increasing popularity of inclusion classrooms has placed a large number of students with special needs with the ones without disabilities. Often, general education teachers lack sufficient training in proven inclusion practices that is necessary to cope with the increase in diverse learning needs. The absence of sufficient training can lead to disruptive behavior and also, induce more stress in the classroom for the educator and the students. The qualitative case study aimed to explore the strategies and techniques used by elementary school teachers to successfully manage inclusion classrooms and to learn how the teachers handled stress. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory provided the theoretical framework for this study. The data collection methods involved observing school classrooms and interviewing teachers. A total of 6 teachers were interviewed and 3 observations were made in the classroom settings of these teachers. All the participants were teachers located in a small rural district of South Central Texas. The collected data were analyzed using cross-case analysis. The findings of this study indicate the most common methods of classroom management, that include the centers formed by small groups of students, and the tailoring of activities based on students' needs. Further, it was learnt that the teachers used a variety of techniques to mitigate their stress levels and to manage their classrooms in a calm manner. Also, using appropriate classroom management techniques can help the students with special needs to learn ways in which they can adapt their own behavior through self-regulation, to function more effectively with others.