Perceptions of the effectiveness of instruction in classrooms with inclusion

Hallie Caldwell Colter

Abstract

This dissertation investigated the perceptions of regular classroom teachers and resource teachers, parents, and students regarding the effectiveness of instruction in regular middle school classes that include resource students. The study was conducted in a rural school district in the midlands of South Carolina. Those involved in inclusion efforts understand that classrooms are becoming more and more diverse and that the teachers' job is to "arrange instruction that benefits all students--even though the various students may derive different benefits" (Rogers, 1993). Using a three-point Likert-Type scale of 1-agree, 2-undecided, and 3-disagree, there was a significant difference between the perceptions of the instructional effectiveness in inclusive classrooms among the three groups; teachers, parents, and students. A total of 62 teachers, 127 parents and 119 students participated in the study. The major findings of the comparison of 5 of the 10 similar statements included in the survey instruments were as given: (1) Teachers agreed that students with special needs are included in regular classes more than parents and parents agreed with the statement more than students. (2) Parents agreed that students with disabilities are better served in the regular classroom more than teachers and students. (3) Teachers and students agreed that the IEP is an effective tool for facilitating instruction more than parents. (4) Parents and students agreed that teachers are qualified to work with students with special needs more than the teachers. (5) Teachers and parents agreed that regular classes help to improve the social and communication skills for students with and without disabilities.