Degree Date

Spring 4-1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Kathryn J. Tooredman

Second Advisor

Valerie Owen

Third Advisor

Diane Salmon



This dissertation is a critical action research study on full inclusion for students with learning disabilities. The study describes how full inclusion for 16 students with learning disabilities in three regular classes was implemented in an Illinois elementary school over a one year period. The purpose of this study is to describe how transformational leadership, collaborative decision-making and action research helped in the development of full inclusion.

Action research was the method used to 1) observe and collect data about the project, 2) to analyze what was happening, and 3) help guide the inclusion teaching team in taking actions to improve the program for the students. Both qualitative and quantitative data was used in the study.

Collaborative decision-making by the teaching team resulted in the design and implementation of the full inclusion project. We were able to integrate the students in regular classes through team teaching, instructional grouping and cooperative learning. The project showed that planning time and additional personnel were needed to educate this many students adequately.

Teacher perceptions of inclusion were that socialization of the students with learning disabilities with their typical peers improved as a result of being in the same classes, while individual academic growth was less than expected.

The study concluded that transformational leadership and collaborative decision-making by teachers were essential to the development of full inclusion. Full Inclusion of learning disabilities students in regular education classes was possible because of the philosophical commitment of the principal and teachers and their thoughtful dedication to the task.


Note: Conversion to PDF file was done in 1995. Formatting and spelling errors occurred in the conversion that are not in the original dissertation. PRH, 12/16/2010