Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timothy Lafferty


Researchers argued that special education students should learn alongside regular education students because involvement with peers affects special education students' ability to assimilate information. However, inclusive elementary classroom teachers in a local Texas school were struggling to meet the learning needs of their diverse student populations in reading instruction. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers' perceptions about reading instruction in an inclusion setting and to investigate what teachers believe was needed to improve the effectiveness of their practice. King-Sears's inclusion instructional model served as the conceptual framework to guide this study. The research questions were focused on primary teachers' perceptions on using reading strategies, the challenges teachers confront instructing reading with a diverse population, and suggestions for professional development related to improving instructional reading pedagogy in the inclusion classroom. A case study design provided the insights of 9 teachers in inclusion classrooms, through individual interviews, reflective journals, and observational notes. Emergent themes were identified through an open coding process and the findings were conceived and validated through participant examination. The findings revealed that primary teachers struggle with identifying reading strategies when instructing the diverse population of students in the inclusion classroom, and teachers are challenged with multiple issues such as team teaching to effectively engage and instruct all students. This study may lead to positive social change by supporting teachers' efforts to improve their instructional practices, which have the potential to improve literacy for all students and with that, will benefit the communities of these students.