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Research Topic: Understanding the Perception of a Special Education Student Made by Teachers in Inclusion Classroom Settings

Presented by: Chandra Watkins Date: 5/2/2013 Action Research Professor M. Weiman

Statement of the Problem


There is a growing consensus that all children have the right to be educated together, regardless of the type and degree of exceptionality and that inclusion makes good educational and social sense (Mazurek & Winzer, 2010). The data collected from this study will provide valuable information to help educators adjust their perceptions on their special education students within their inclusion classrooms and increase the importance of well planned lessons within this class setting.

Purpose of the Study


10 questions were designed for the general education and special education teachers to measure how well they support the students and general education teachers, their perceptions of the inclusion programs, and the role they play in the implementation of the program. A qualitative questionnaire was conducted.

Research Questions
Are special education students in inclusion classrooms facing several challenges to be positively perceived by faculty members?

How do teacher counterparts view each other in inclusion classroom settings?

Literature Review

Theoretical Background
Ecological findings show that the academic engagement of students with disabilities is significantly higher during teacher- directed instruction than during seatwork in both resource room and general education settings (Friedman, Cancelli, & Yoshida, 1988). Barnes (2006) created an article to aid teachers in making their special education students feel comfortable with their labels in the general education classroom. Special education students struggle with labels (Barnes, 2006).

Theoretical Background II
It is very important that all members of the inclusion classroom remain positive and innovative so that the student can be successful (Idol, 2006). Therefore, to ensure the success of inclusion, it is important that principals exhibit behaviors that advance the integration, acceptance, and success of students with disabilities in general education classes (Praisner, 2003).

Results

Participants
3 General Education Teachers 3 Special Education Teachers Participants teach both English and Math courses

Results
Majority of all participants desired collaborative planning with their transition teaching counterpart to benefit the students success rate within the classroom. Teachers feel that their teaching counterpart was of true service to them.

Results CONT. II
Results proved that general education teachers view their special education students as somewhat challenging because they rely on their special education teacher counterparts to provide appropriate service. Special education teachers viewed special education students very well due to their extensive background knowledge on disabilities and their years of experience in the field of special education

Discussion

Strengths
This study is composed of high validity in that the teachers who were involved within this study taught only 5th and 6th grade. This study is a study that can be replicated on another campus at anytime of the school year. The results of this study can share to help relationships among teachers and help improve student success. This study is also accessible for extension ability.

Limitations
Limitations included the low number of participates who agreed to participate in the study. Scheduling a time to conduct interviews was another challenge.

Recommendations
The data collected from this study will provide valuable information to help educators adjust their perceptions on their special education students within their inclusion classrooms and increase the importance of well planned lessons within this class setting. It is desired that the participants will change their normal behavior and provide more support and create more confidence within their special education students.

Conclusions
Results present the possibility to require general education teachers to become certified in Special Education. Requiring general education teachers to become certified in Special Education, would help with the overall service that is provided to special education teachers. The student researcher believes that if both teachers were certified in special education, relationships would improve and a sense of cohesive teamwork would be more encouraged among both teaching counterparts. It is very important that all members of the inclusion classroom remain positive and innovative so that the student can be successful (Idol, 2006).

References
Barnes, P. (2006). The Inclusion Classroom. Your Middle School Classroom , 32. Block, M. E. (1999). Did we jump on the wrong bandwagon? Problems with inclusion in
physical education. Palaestra , 30-36.

Cook, B. G., Semmel, M. I., & Gerber, M. M. (1999). Attitudes of Principals and Special Education Teachers Towards the Inclusion of Students with Mild Disabilities. ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Science , 199-256. Crowson, H. M., & Brandes, J. A. (2010). Predicting Community Opposition to Inclusion in
School: The Role of Social Dominance, Contact, Intergroup Anxiety, and Economic Conservatism. The Journal of Psychology , 121-144.

Idol, L. (2006). Toward Inclusion of Special Education Students in General Education A


Program Evaluation of Eight Schools. ProQuest Nursing &Allied Health Source , 77-94.

Kimbrough, R., & Mellen, K. (2012). Research summary: Perceptions of inclusion of students with disabilities in the middle school. Retrieved November 20, 2012, from Association for Middle School Level Education:
http://www.amle.org/portals/0/pdf/research/Research_Summaries/Inclusion.pdf

References CONT.
Lee, S.-H., Soukup, J. H., Wehmeyer, M. L., & Palmer, S. B. (2010). Impact of Curriculum
Modifications on Access to the General Education Curriculum for Students With Disabilities. Exceptional Children , 213-233.

Mazurek, K., & Winzer, M. (2010). Legislation, Policy, and the Inclusion of Students with
Special Needs: National Glimpses. FWU Journal of Social Sciences , 3-17.

Praisner, C. L. (2003). Attitudes of Elementary School Prinicipals Toward the Inclusion of


Students With Disabilities. Exceptional Children , 135-145.

Putnam, J. W., Spiegel, A. N., & Bruininks, R. H. (1995). Future Directions in Education
and Inclusion of Students with Disabilities: A Delphi Investigation. Exceptional Children , 553-576.

SEDL Advancing Research Improving Education . (2012). Retrieved September 6, 2012, from Inclusion: Pros and Cons: http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues43/support_for_inclusion.html