Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Whitten

Second Advisor

Dr. Luchara Wallace

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeanine Mattson-Gearhart


Inclusion, COVID-19 pandemic, phenomenology, high school inclusion teacher, inclusive practices, constant comparative method


The drive for inclusive practices has required the special education teacher to become an integral part of the general education setting. Yet as the nation recovers from the ubiquitous COVID-19 virus, many schools are challenged to provide a learning environment that is conducive to all students while balancing the need to provide safety and an appropriate education. As schools find their way to a new normal, this study examines the unique role of the special education teacher engaged in inclusive practices. Using a phenomenological approach combined with the constant comparative method, this study explores what meaning special education teachers ascribe to the role in which they function. The purpose is three-fold: to depict the essence of the experience of using inclusive practices, to deliver an explanation of how a special education teacher’s time is spent while providing opportunities for inclusion, and to convey a teacher’s perspective of what it means to be a special education teacher during a global pandemic.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access