Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Giblin

Abstract

In many classrooms across the country, the integration of special education students has become widely accepted and common. In these situations, students with disabilities are expected to meet the same requirements and standards as general education students with less individualized time for instruction to close learning gaps. Consequently, these students are struggling and falling farther behind in the classroom, often leaving them frustrated and unwilling to participate in school work. These challenges increase in the English Language Arts classroom, where the progress of students with disabilities is often impeded by low reading levels, challenges with writing, and inability to access the provided materials and curriculum. Improving the classroom conditions for students with disabilities under the Next Generation State Standards needs to become a top priority for educators across the country. Using a unit plan adapted from a successful unit taught in a co-taught ELA classroom and research, this paper indicates that co-teaching is the best instructional model of education available to meet the needs of all students in an integrated classroom. Accessing the expertise of both a special education teacher and a content-area teacher allows for students to utilize both skillsets to find success in the ELA classroom.

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