Date of Award

Fall 11-4-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Brad Hanson

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Kent Medlin

Abstract

Students with disabilities are to be educated alongside their peers to the maximum extent possible as required by federal and state regulations. Research suggests students with disabilities are more successful when placed with peers in the general education classroom with appropriate support. This study was conducted to examine specific bestpractice strategies used by exemplary special education teachers. The participants within this study have been identified as Clarissa Hug Teacher of the Year Award recipients by the Council for Exceptional Children and are considered to be exemplary in the field of special education. Three research questions guided the study using the conceptual framework of Harry Wong. Participants were asked seven open-ended interview questions. Each interview question was designed to elicit specific details about the participant’s use of instructional and behavioral strategies. Interview data showed several thematic commonalities between participants to include: climate and environment; relationships and attitude; instruction; procedure and expectations; engagement and motivation; incentives, rewards, and reinforcements; and discipline and consequences. Research suggests when teachers employ specific classroom management strategies, all students are more successful. Classroom management strategies can ensure students are successful both academically and behaviorally within all educational environments. The findings of this study supported a strong connection between the use of effective classroom strategies and successful student outcomes.

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