Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

C. Steven Bingham

Abstract

The purpose of this retrospective, explanatory sequential mixed-methods study was to determine the impact of an inclusive educational setting on the behavioral, social, and emotional growth and development of students with various disabilities. Many aspects of a student’s educational experiences can be affected by a proper placement in an inclusive setting with non-disabled peers including discipline rates and referrals, need for behavioral goals and plans, and perceptions concerning personal social growth and development.

The setting for this research study was an inner-city middle school serving Grades 7 and 8 in western North Carolina. Eighth-grade middle school students identified as students with disabilities who were currently being educated in the inclusive, regular setting but had previously been educated during intermediate school in a separate or resource setting excluded from their non-disabled peers created the cohort.

The methodology used in this research study included a complete document analysis comparing the rates of disciplinary infractions resulting in out-of-class or school suspensions from 2012-2015. Also, the SEARS-A survey and student interviews were administered to gain personal perspectives from the cohort members.

When reviewing the results, the research indicated a reduction in the number of office referrals of students with disabilities in the inclusive setting when compared to the separate setting as well as positive student perceptions relating to being instructed in the inclusive classroom with regard to advancing their social growth and development skills.

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