Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kimberly Alkins


The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandated that students with disabilities be educated with their nondisabled peers in the least restrictive environment. In a large urban district elementary school in the U.S. southwest inclusion classrooms were created to address this mandate. The problem for this study was that 3rd to 5th grade general education teachers at this school struggled to teach reading and mathematics to students with special needs in inclusion classrooms. The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) elementary general education teachers' perceptions about teaching reading mathematics to students using special education services in inclusion classrooms and (b) the resources these teachers perceived which could provide effective support to teach students with special education services in inclusion classrooms and foster more teacher self-efficacy. Bandura's social cognitive theory guided this basic qualitative study. Interview data were collected from 12 classroom teachers of students with special needs and analyzed through a systemic review. Three themes emerged from the findings: teachers believed students benefit from inclusion classrooms when they plan differentiated and engaging lessons, teachers were challenged by the responsibilities in a an inclusion classroom, and inclusion teachers need more and better classroom resources and support. The study results could provide positive social change by leading to professional development opportunities that address teachers' ongoing needs for effective instructional strategies and collaborative practices for teaching reading and mathematics in inclusion classrooms, increasing teachers' self-efficacy, and eventually improving the academic success of students with special needs in their classrooms.

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