Date of Conferral







Stephanie Gaddy


Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often exhibit problem behaviors in the classroom. Some of these students present challenges for teachers in general classrooms that impact not only the students’ own learning, but also the learning of other students. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative, transcendental phenomenological research study was to expand knowledge about the experiences of special education teachers who teach students identified with ADHD. The conceptual framework was based on Dewey’s constructivist worldview and van Manen’s phenomenology of practice. The research questions explored beliefs and experiences of special educators with students identified with ADHD in inclusive classrooms. Little research is currently available that details the experiences of special education teachers who work with students with ADHD in inclusive classroom settings. To address this deficit in the literature, this study involved the collection of information about special educators’ beliefs and experiences regarding teaching students with ADHD in inclusive classrooms in kindergarten through Grade 5. Eight elementary school special educators participated in semistructured phone interviews. The resulting data were hand-coded and analyzed using a modified van Kaam method of data analysis. The key findings were that participants identified positive teacher–student relationship and structured classrooms as beneficial for students with ADHD. A major recommendation was training for both special and general education teachers. This study may provide useful insights about teaching students with ADHD, thereby leading to implementation of programs and resources for teaching and learning of students with disabilities.