Date of Award

Spring 2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeff Mingus


While inclusion of students with disabilities has been a topic of debate for decades, uncertainty still exists concerning best practices for their participation in general education contexts (Carter et al., 2016). This study was designed to investigate teachers’ experiences and perceptions with inclusion in general education science classrooms. While students with disabilities are generally included in general education science classrooms today, statistics show students with disabilities are graduating from high school unprepared to major in science-related fields or to enter the workforce in sciencerelated careers (Brusca-Vega, Alexander, & Kamin, 2014). Therefore, the content area of science was targeted for the purposes of this study. Five similar school districts in southwest Missouri were selected for this study. Middle school science and special education teachers were interviewed to obtain perceptions concerning inclusion of students with disabilities in general education science classrooms. Information gathered was compared with the literature reviewed to identify themes, ensure validity, and ascertain conclusions. After analyzing the data, it was revealed all students benefit both academically and socially when effective inclusive practices are incorporated in general education science classrooms. These benefits are dependent upon teachers’ self-efficacy and attitudes and collaboration between and among special education and general education teachers. Paraprofessional support for students with disabilities can contribute to successful inclusion in general education science classrooms.


Copyright 2018