Date of Award

7-2020

Rights

© 2020 Jeff James Spaletta

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Catherine Stieg

Third Advisor

Rodney Johnson

Abstract

American high schools with full-inclusion programs often struggle to offer effective academic instruction to students with disabilities. While academic researchers have conducted studies on inclusion programs, a literature review revealed a dearth of academic studies specific to inclusion programs in secondary schools. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the attitudes of general-education teachers in urban, Title 1 high schools regarding the ability of those teachers to provide effective academic instruction to students with disabilities in schools that offer full-inclusion education. This study was motivated by three research questions: 1) What are the attitudes of teachers working in urban, Title 1 secondary schools about full-inclusion programs that integrate students with disabilities into mainstream classrooms? 2) How do teachers describe their qualifications/preparation to provide appropriate instruction to students with disabilities in their mainstream classrooms? 3) How do teachers describe the influence of professional development, resources, and administrative support on their attitudes about the inclusion programs in their schools? To answer these questions, I used social media platforms and email to invite teachers in four regions of the United States to participate in a survey to measure their attitudes about inclusion education in their schools. Fifty-six teachers from across the United States anonymously completed a Scale of Teachers’ Attitudes toward Inclusion (STATIC) survey, which consisted of 20 multiple choice questions and two open-ended questions. Multiple themes emerged from the data, including the importance of materials and resources, qualifications and ability, and administrative support in shaping the attitudes of teachers about inclusion education. Recommendations from this analysis include: 1) Ongoing training of general-education teachers specific to strategies for accommodating students with disabilities within the regular education classroom, 2) Increased access to materials, learning supports, time for professional collaboration, administrative support, and time to plan for the needs of students, and 3) Ongoing opportunities for teachers to communicate to administration their needs related to the education of students with disabilities.

Comments

Ed.D. Dissertation

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