Term of Award

Fall 2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

James F. Burnham

Committee Member 1

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 2

Fred Page

Abstract

The researcher's purpose was to conduct an analysis of the implementation of an inclusion program in three schools in a southeastern Georgia school district. The sample consisted of two elementary schools and one middle school. One elementary school was implementing inclusion for the first time and consisted of 586 students with 50 staff members serving a mixed population, racially, economically, and socially. The second elementary school consisted of 504 students with 50 staff members serving a mixed population, but with a slightly higher economic and social status than the previously mentioned elementary school. This school was attempting to implement inclusion with a pull-out program still existing. The middle school was a feeder school for both elementary schools and consisted of 777 students with 70 staff members. This school was implementing and attempting to perfect its inclusion program for the 2nd year. All three schools are located within a three mile radius of each other. The analysis was comprised of a qualitative questionnaire composed of 10 open-ended questions being provided to regular educators, special educators, paraprofessionals, and administrators participating in the implementation of an inclusion program in their individual school. Questionnaires were coded by an independent administrator and the researcher to determine major themes. The research also consisted of information gathered by the researcher while fulfilling the role of participant/observer in the position of a district staffing specialist within all three buildings. Findings from this research resulted in the following major themes: (1) a concern for having support staff for regular educators to enable them to be comfortable in the classroom with the special needs students, (2) a concern for having administrative support so each educator is comfortable in voicing their needs and concerns during the implementation of an inclusion program, and (3) a concern for having time to collaborate so that each educator understands their own role in the inclusion classroom. The research presented in this study examined an inclusion for the purpose of giving voice to those involved in the study. The research makes a contribution in the field about inclusion programs in special education.

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