Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Douglas Lare, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Fello, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Teri Burcroff, Ph.D.


Districts throughout the nation are restructuring their academic placement of students to create inclusive classrooms. This means that classrooms will have students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) taking classes with their general education peers. The era of segregated classrooms, with general education and special education students being separated, is gone. As inclusion increases throughout the nation, research has not focused on how it may be impacting the general education curriculum taught in the inclusive classroom. The purpose of this phenomenological case study assesses the impact of inclusion on the general education curriculum in a suburban secondary school in PA. The yearlong study utilized several different types of data collection including classroom artifacts, teacher observations, discussion groups, questionnaires, and motivation surveys. After the data was collected and analyzed, the researcher searched for patterns and themes to determine whether inclusion may be impacting the general education curriculum that all students receive in an inclusive classroom. The results of the study showed that there is a need for more professional development and collaboration between administration, special education teachers, and general education teachers. The results also demonstrated there is a limited amount of curricular depth that can be taught to students in an inclusive classroom and retained by them. This is a foundational study to raise awareness that districts need to examine how they conduct inclusion in their schools to eliminate the decreased academic and educational gains every student involved in inclusive classrooms is experiencing.