Instructional Strategies and Practices Used to Enhance Student Success in the High School Algebra I Inclusive Classroom
Lowery, Lillian Margretta
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the instructional conditions and practices described as successful for teachers in the Algebra I inclusive classroom. In the southeastern suburban school district used for this study, students who began their freshman year of high school in fiscal year 2000 faced new mathematics requirements for high school graduation, including taking Algebra I and passing an Algebra I end-of-course standards-based test. The new mathematics requirements presented a daunting challenge to general and special educators as increasing numbers of students with disabilities began to receive their instruction in the general education classroom. This school district targeted schools based on student performance on standards-based end-of-course tests and provided extra support and resources to enhance teaching and learning; however, other schools in the district had to reach the same goal -- improved student achievement -- without the extra resources. Based on a comparative case study of three separate inclusive classrooms from three separate schools, findings were presented through a discussion of the theoretical framework. The theoretical framework for this study included theories from Skinner (1953) and GagnÃ© (1985). Data were collected through interviews with teachers and their students with and without disabilities, through observations in classrooms, and by review of student data. Four major domains were addressed in this study. Those domains included instructional conditions, climate and planning, and instructional interventions, the use of time and teacher adaptations and accommodations. This study supported the notion that an affective classroom climate coupled with collaborative planning among team teachers, general educators and special educators who co-teach in the inclusive classroom, promotes an instructional environment conducive to learning. The effective use of time along with teacher adaptations and accommodations appeared to keep students engaged in the learning process. However, other influences, including insufficient teacher training, negative student behaviors, and inappropriate student placement, were found to affect student achievement in the inclusive classroom.
- Doctoral Dissertations