Date of Award

2020

Access Restriction

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dana Coleman, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Karen Huchting, Ph.D.

Abstract

General education teachers are critical contributors to the successful inclusion of students labeled with learning disabilities in general education classrooms. Similarly, teacher beliefs about disability labels significantly influence how teachers include or exclude students labeled with a learning disability in their classrooms. This qualitative study investigated eight secondary general education teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and their experiences teaching students labeled with a learning disability from a Critical Disabilities Studies perspective. Data were collected using an innovative qualitative method, Q methodology, in order to surface distinct perspectives within the group about inclusion and the experience of teaching students labeled with a learning disability in their classes. The data bore that while teachers agree with the aspirations of inclusive education, they insist they are not capable of teaching students labeled with a learning disability. These findings support the need for systemic change within teacher preparation programs and schools that can disrupt deficit notions of disability.

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