Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Leslie Loughmiller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John Mendes, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Clayton Alford, Ed.D.


Preservice teachers understanding of inclusion; align with their perceptions about their capabilities to achieve high learner outcomes. This dissertation investigated how general education preservice teachers perceived inclusion and the role that their attitudes and beliefs played in their overall student teaching experiences in rural southeastern Washington. Guided by Bandura's social cognitive theory (1977) this case study examined their self-efficacy to teach in inclusive classrooms. Teaching is a domain of practice in which study participants can hold high efficacy beliefs and for decades, researchers have conducted studies to investigate the role of self-efficacy in education. The research population for the study consisted of final year general education preserviceteachers during student teaching at elementary, middle, and high schools. The study relied on multiple sources of evidence, converging data in a triangulated manner. Data collection included survey instruments, non-participant observation, and open-ended semi-structured interviews of respondents. The study extends the existing knowledge that informs rural general education preservice teachers’ preparation, practice, placement policies, and research. The data revealed that preservice teachers held a positive outlook towards inclusive classrooms.

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