Date of Award

Fall 12-8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Education: Curriculum and Teaching

First Advisor

Jennifer Samson

Second Advisor

Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides

Third Advisor

John Ranellucci

Academic Program Adviser

Marshall George


The outcomes presented in this dissertation were motivated by a scarcity of research that explores self-determination practices explicitly within inclusive classrooms. Three overarching goals motivated my research. The first was to understand what inclusion teachers know and do in relation to self-determination (Chapter 2). The second was to understand how their practices align with existing knowledge about self-determination in the field (Chapter 3). Finally, I sought to create an accessible, research-based tool tailored to inclusion teachers who seek to support their students in developing self-determination skills (Chapter 4). To achieve these goals, I designed an investigation using a case-study design that included ten inclusion teachers utilizing semi-structured interviews to explore their beliefs and understandings of self-determination in their classrooms. In Chapter 2, a descriptive study was conducted to analyze a subset of the larger dataset that resulted in nine high-frequency themes (top quartile of themes referenced) drawn from the interviews. These themes fall into one of two categories: Practices to support student behavior and Colleague collaboration, and have implications for how teachers can readily implement strategies for supporting self-determination in their students. Chapter 3 builds on findings from the first study to propose nine Self-Determination Quality Indicators for Inclusion Classrooms and how they align with existing self-determination research. Lastly, Chapter 4 proposes a teacher-accessible tool, the Quality Indicators of Inclusion Classrooms (QIIC), designed to guide inclusion teachers as they reflect on their practices.



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