Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Education

Program

Education

Supervisor

Augusto Riveros

Abstract

In the United States, the provision to educate all students with disabilities in their least restrictive environment (LRE) is outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004). One way to support students’ education in their LRE is through a two-teacher inclusion (one special and one general educator) class. However, despite its potential benefits, the creation, implementation and support of LREs through inclusion classes have many challenges. In this research, an exploratory case study approach provided an opportunity to investigate the experiences of the principal, an assistant principal, and teachers in relation to the creation and implementation for LREs at Florence High School in Sheppard High School District (located in Northern California). The school name and district have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participants.

In total, there were ten participants in this study, including the principal, one assistant principal, and eight current and former inclusion teachers (special and general educators) from Florence High School have been included in the study as participants. Transcripts from participant interviews were analyzed in order to identify themes and patterns. The results of this study suggest that teachers and as well as the principal and assistant principal in this study are committed to supporting all students. However, teachers face obstacles in the implementation of LREs such as minimal professional development, a lack of time for collaboration to support student learning. Additionally, teachers at this school are seeking more opportunities to discuss schedules and partnerships. The recommendations are intended to provide insight into the organizational practices that support the inclusion model of teaching in an effort to effectively inform future relevant decision-making and expand inclusion at Florence High School.


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