Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-14-2022


This phenomenological qualitative study explored the perceptions and experiences of a group of U.S. public schools, kindergarten through fifth grade teachers, certified in general education with experience teaching inclusion--a federally mandated practice requiring schools to educate students both with and without disabilities in the same classroom. Much of the literature surrounding inclusion focuses on the perceived benefits of the program and children with disabilities' legal rights. The literature has a limited number of references describing the perceptions and experiences of teachers who are required to provide the educational services necessary for inclusion in the classroom.

In this study, 35 participants answered survey questions about inclusion. Ten of the respondents additionally participated in follow-up interviews, providing nearly ten hours of dialogue and sharing narrative accounts of perceptions and experiences. The finding indicated that all participants verbally expressed support for the concept of inclusive education. However, with deeper probing, no participant relayed a positive personal account from teaching inclusion, yet, every participant identified multiple problems and/or experiences.


inclusion, general education, teachers, perceptions, attitudes, theory of planned behavior

Document Type




Degree Name

Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Trenia Walker

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Huss-Keeler

Third Committee Member

Viola E. Florez

Fourth Committee Member

John Burke