Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Senorina Reis


Disabilities, Inclusion, Mild to Moderate, Secondary, Social Justice

Subject Areas

Educational leadership; Education policy; Special education


Inclusion is the practice of educating students with disabilities and students without disabilities in the same learning environment. For secondary students with mild/moderate disabilities, inclusion is rooted in the philosophical mindset of social justice, equity, and legislation. Inclusion is a complex and sometimes controversial topic few educational systems want to tackle. The purpose of this multi-method research was to gather and analyze secondary site administrators' and teachers’ opinions on the barriers, bridges, and bases needed for the furtherance of inclusion practices and the elimination of the segregated classrooms for students with mild-moderate disabilities. A plethora of research on this topic exists, yet there remains a gap in the literature of understanding what secondary staff needs for inclusion to move from theory to practice. One hundred and seven teachers and administrators participated in this research with mixed results. This study found that positive beliefs about inclusion are necessary but not sufficient to override the need for collaboration time, preservice training, qualified personnel, and district level administrative support.