Inclusive practices: a study of high school general education teacher and paraeducator collaborative partnerships

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Kuhn, Karen K.
Patterson, Jean A.

Inclusive high school general education classroom settings are comprised of students with varying needs. In order to support those needs, this study explored the collaborative partnerships among general education teachers and special education paraeducators in serving students with disabilities in inclusion general education classroom settings. As more students with disabilities receive their special education services in inclusive settings, this qualitative study documents the roles, routines, expectations, beliefs, and interactions of high school general education teacher and special education paraeducator teams in one suburban high school. Furthermore, this study investigated the perceptions, experiences, and beliefs of district and building leaders as well as special education teachers for the implementation of inclusive education and the collaborative partnerships between general education teachers and special education paraeducators. Data was collected through semi-structured individual and focus group interviews, classroom observations, and a review of documents. Through the use of an Activity Theory framework, this study aimed to seek and understand what transformations may occur as general education teacher and special education paraeducator collaborative teams navigate and develop an understanding of inclusion practices and the implementation of such practices. The study emphasizes the need to for all members of school and classroom communities to recognize what rules and resources govern their practices, the social and cultural implications of their practice, and lastly, how they delineate what they do, why they do it, and how they do it.

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Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Education and School Psychology