Date of Award

Fall 11-27-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Brandy Kamm, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janice Powell, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Brian Creasman, Ed.D.


Inclusive educational settings have become the norm as schools aim to educate disabled students in environments least restrictive to their development (U.S. Department of Education, 2004). This study was conducted in order to assess teacher perceptions of inclusion academically, socially, and behaviorally for general and special education students. Informed by Sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978), and Integrated Threat Theory (Bustillos & Silvan-Ferrero, 2013), this research aimed to give voice to those most instrumental in implementing inclusion successfully and effectively. Utilizing open-ended interviews and qualitative analyses coded by Excel and NVivo software, the study discovered that teacher participants perceived the main benefit of inclusion to be the provision of leadership training and sensitivity for general education students and feelings of acceptance amongst special education students. However, teachers reported that the negative impacts of inclusion include more frequent incidents of disruptive behavior causing distraction from learning as well as more stringent academic standards and increased instances of bullying for the special education students. Key suggestions provided by participants included a need for additional training for teachers on co-teaching methods and special education student sensitivity. The participants also reported the necessity of smaller class sizes and a desire to return to the traditional classroom environment. This study benefits the educational community by revealing the necessity of special-education training workshops and support personnel to ease the integration of inclusive classrooms for both students and teachers. Implementation of such policy changes will make the perceptions of educators tangible.

Included in

Education Commons