Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. George Haus

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Summy

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennipher Wiebold

Abstract

This study uses Q Methodology and semi-structured interviews to examine general education teachers’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about inclusion of students with disabilities in their general education classrooms. As reported in the 38th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, 2016, 94.8% of students with disabilities are being educated in general education classrooms for some part of the school day (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). For this reason, it is important to understand general education teachers’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about the inclusion of students with disabilities.

In this study there were 50 Q sort statements describing the spectrum of attitudes about inclusion. The study included 15 voluntary participants who are general education teachers at the middle school level. The Q sort data was analyzed using PQMethod software (Release 2.35; Schmolck, 2014). This analysis resulted in three distinct points of view about inclusion: Believers, Non-Believers and True Believers. The Believers and True believes both supported full inclusion. Believers felt the need for more professional development on inclusive practices. The Non-Believers did not support full inclusion for all students with disabilities. The findings suggest that more professional development on inclusive practices is necessary to ensure that all general education teachers are properly prepared to support students with disabilities in their general education classrooms.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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