NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED517822
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 194
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-3933-6
A Descriptive Analysis of Students with Disabilities' Experiences in an Inclusive Setting: A Phenomenological Study of Belonging and Self-Esteem
Konecni-Upton, Gail
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
A sense of belonging is critical in the development of positive self-worth, the enhancement of social skills, and the definition of one's role in society. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe students with disabilities' perceptions of belonging and self-esteem in an inclusive classroom community by addressing a gap in practice relating to the role of self-esteem in successful inclusion. Theories of belonging by James, Maslow, Baumeister, and Leary, and theories of community by Dewey, Buber, and Noddings provided the theoretical frameworks for this research. Students were asked to describe their lived experiences within an inclusive classroom, their sense of belonging, and how their perceptions of belonging influenced their self-esteem. Individual interviews were conducted with 7 secondary students with disabilities. Data were analyzed using Moustakas' modification of the Van Kaam method. Salient themes were identified from students' perceptions of belonging and self-esteem. Students with mild disabilities reported feeling a sense of belonging, while students with more challenging disabilities did not. Recommendations include professional development for general education teachers to assist them in developing responsible inclusion programs. The findings from this study can foster positive social change by informing teachers of their role in promoting students with disabilities sense of belonging and self-esteem within the classroom community by developing positive social relationships and modeling acceptance of diversity. Knowledge and understanding of students' perceptions of belonging and self-esteem may improve students with disabilities social skills and the ability to contribute to society as originally envisioned by special education law. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800)1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A