Date of Award

Summer 7-18-2006

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Connor


Special education services may involve a variety of placement options for students with identified educational disabilities. Settings vary based on the extent to which students with disabilities receive their education alongside general education peers. Federal law mandates that students with disabilities experience access to general education peers and curricula to the greatest extent possible. Also, research supports the benefits of general education placement for students with a variety of disabilities. This study examines the inclusion courses at a school in suburban Minneapolis, developed to provide a general education experience for students with special needs. Specifically, it examines the practices teachers utilize as a general educator and a special educator work collaboratively with a group of diverse students. Through open-ended interviewing, six educators involved in co-teaching (three general educators and three special educators) shared their perspectives on their inclusion courses, including ideas for improving current strategies and techniques. Numerous themes emerged concerning daily experiences in co-taught, inclusive classes. The results include ten action steps that could be implemented in order to mitigate negative aspects of present practices. Findings also include perspectives on the overall functions of special education for students with exceptional needs, and ways in which inclusive settings may support the achievement of these academic, social and practical purposes.


SC 11.MAE.2006.Jorgense.R

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Education Commons