Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Anne Grey, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Rinyka Allison, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John D’Aguanno, Ed.D.


Social-Emotional Learning for students with disabilities is an important topic in education. Currently, over 13% of students in schools K–12 have a documented disability, of which many are faced with deficits in social-emotional development. Furthermore, there appears to be a gap between the research literature and how instructional practices are used to support students with social-emotional deficits. This case study design aimed to understand how three general education teachers, four special education teachers, and three school psychologists implemented social-skills instructional practices for students with high-incidence disabilities in the LRE. These participants represented 12 different schools from four school districts within the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. This research found that student-needs, knowledge, and experience of the three stakeholders, and school culture, contributed to the selection of instructional practices for students with social-emotional deficits within the least restrictive environment. In addition, the need for collaboration was found to be a key element when addressing student’s needs, building knowledge, and creating a positive school culture. Results indicated that push-in supports were the primary instructional practice among the 12 schools. Consultation and coteaching were rarely used because they required much coordination and collaboration. All three stakeholder groups reported that the selection of instructional practices was dependent on individual student needs. However, it was also found that some instructional practices were not available as an option in some schools. Further research on instructional practice offerings could shed light on the discrepancy.