Effects of Inclusion Classrooms on Academic Achievement of Students with Learning Disabilities and Students in General Education

Sharon Ware


The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine the academic progress of students in reading, who have a learning disability in reading, as they transfer from pull-out support services to inclusion services; and (b) to examine the academic progress of general education students in reading, as they transfer from a general education setting to an inclusive setting; and (c) to determine teachers’ attitudes toward including children with special needs. The quantitative portion of the study involved two years of Tennessee Value-Added (TVAAS) scores for general education students as well as scores of students with a reading disability.  The qualitative portion of this study utilized a modified scale of teachers’ attitude toward inclusive classrooms.  Participating teachers received a teacher opinion survey that determined teacher attitude toward including students with special needs.  The results from this study revealed that most teachers have positive attitudes toward including students with special needs. Approximately 10 elementary school teachers were recruited to participate in the survey.  The quantitative portion of the study indicated there were statistically significant differences in scores of general education students as they moved into an inclusive environment. General education students’ test scores significantly declined once they were placed in an inclusive setting.  However, the finding from this study showed no statistically significant difference in scores of students with a reading disability once they were moved from a pull-out support setting to an inclusion support setting.  It is recommended that future research include larger and more heterogeneous participant pools that include race and gender variables.

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