Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining practice for educating culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional populations in middle school inclusive settings
by O'Keeffe, Suzanne Becker, Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2012, 228; 3548573
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examined the relationship between instructional practice in the classroom and current theory when educating culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional (CLDE) middle school students in inclusive settings. Participants for this study were chosen using community nomination and data were collected using classroom observation. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to observe exemplary educators in middle school inclusive classroom settings and record the strategies that they were using to educate all students, including CLDE populations. These strategies were then compared to the current literature surrounding culturally responsive pedagogy, inclusive education, and CLDE instructional methods, and a frequency of use, if any, was determined.

Four participants were observed for this study using an observation instrument that was created using the combined instructional strategies associated with culturally responsive pedagogy, inclusive education, and CLDE populations. An interpretive epistemological perspective was employed to analyze data by comparing the types of instructional strategies used in the classroom to current CLDE theory. Data were analyzed to determine if a relationship existed between current practice and the theory associated with educating CLDE students. The results provided an overview of the variety and frequency of instructional strategies that were being utilized by exemplary middle school inclusive educators.

Three key findings were determined from this study. First, instructional strategies associated with inclusive education were observed most frequently to have a very strong relationship to the literature, while culturally responsive strategies were observed in this category the least. Next, middle school educators cited three reasons for strategies found in the literature that were observed rarely or not observed at all in the classroom. They included English-only state legislative laws, time constraints associated with teaching so many standards, and an unclear understanding of how to successfully implement certain strategies with CLDE populations. Finally, this study suggests that informal opportunities for peer tutoring and native language support are beneficial to CLDE students being educated in middle school inclusive settings. Recommendations for preservice programs, professional development, and educational policies associated with CLDE are discussed. The findings were intended to contribute to the growing body of literature on instructional strategies used to support CLDE populations in inclusive settings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McAllister, Gretchen F.
Commitee: Fetsco, Thomas, Matthews, Patricia, Peterson, Patricia
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Teaching and Learning/Educational Specialities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Gifted Education, Instructional Design, Multicultural Education, Special education
Keywords: Community nomination, Exemplary teachers, Inclusion, Instructional strategies, Middle school
Publication Number: 3548573
ISBN: 9781267841247
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