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ERIC Number: ED524409
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 187
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-2396-8
Implementing and Supporting Inclusion in an Elementary School: An Action Research Study
Shady, Sandra A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Wilmington University (Delaware)
Recently, federal legislation has been implemented requiring that public school students meet a specified performance level of academic proficiency by the 2013/2014 school year. This reform movement, known as "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB), was passed by Congress and incorporates many of President Bush's educational reform proposals intended to hold public schools accountable for the academic achievement of all their students. All students, including those with identified special needs, are expected to perform on a level commensurate with state guidelines for performance at that grade level (U. S. Congress 2002). With this push toward all students meeting a specified level of proficiency, as stipulated through NCLB, comes the question of how to best educate those students who qualify for and receive special education services. According to Truscott, Meyers, Meyers, Gelzheiser, and Grout (2004), despite prolonged attention to educational reform in general, and special education reform specifically, little empirical research exists regarding how special education issues, students, and educators are considered as schools engage in local reforms designed to improve the academic performance of all the students attending the school. According to Mastropieri and Scruggs (2001), the educational inclusion of students with disabilities has been widely promoted in recent years resulting in ever-increasing numbers of students with disabilities receiving all or nearly all of their services in general education classrooms. As a result of this movement, many students with disabilities, particularly those with learning disabilities, are now served in general education classrooms with teachers who have little or no training in inclusive education. Often, reform efforts directed at regular and special education may ignore the important connections between the two. More importantly, this lack of integration may exclude many teachers from developing the necessary skills and training they need to improve their ability to instruct all students assigned to their classes. The success of any educational reform efforts will depend on the development of close working partnerships between regular and special education teachers. Due to the fact that inclusion is such a collaborative effort between regular and special education, it would appear that districts should take the time to address the needs of both regular and special education teachers when moving toward an inclusive approach to education. Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School, located in the Caesar Rodney School District in Dover, Delaware, has recently filed for a waiver from the Delaware Department of Education. This waiver affords Stokes Elementary School the opportunity to stipulate within the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that all students qualifying for special education services would receive 12.5 hours of special education services a week and that those services would be provided within general education classes. Previously, within the building, those students who qualified for special education services were typically pulled from the general education classroom to a special education classroom where their instructional services were delivered. It is now the intention of the building administrators and staff to provide educational services to all special education students within the regular education classroom. Instructing all students, including those with identified special education needs within the regular education setting, affords teachers and staff the opportunity to expose all students to experiences with the grade-level curriculum assessed by the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP). In the past at Stokes Elementary School, many teachers, both special and regular education teachers, have been asked to implement an inclusive approach to education without proper training and support. During the 2001/2002 school year a trial inclusion program was put into effect at the fourth grade level. Two teachers, one special-education and one regular-education teacher were asked to instruct all students within the same classroom. All other grade levels remained in the more traditional pull-out program. This trial program, according to the administrative staff, was received favorably by both teachers and parents. During the next few school years, the push toward inclusion continued. In contrast to these typical efforts to implement inclusion where little preparation or training is provided for staff, the staff at Stokes Elementary school was intent on determining what kind of teacher preparation was necessary to provide quality educational services for all students in an inclusive classroom. At the beginning of the 2004/2005 school year, in addition to the fourth grade inclusion class, third and fifth grades were also asked to become more inclusive. With that initiative in mind, staff members felt that it was necessary for the administrative staff to begin offering support for such an initiative. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Delaware Student Testing Program