Social and Academic Impact of the Self-Contained Setting for Students with Special Needs
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Subjectspecial education; Self-Contained; Inclusion; Learning Disability; Academic Impact; Social Skill Development
Classroom instruction/placement of students with special needs is a major issue in education today. This research study analyzed the impact placement had on students standardized test scores and overall classroom performance, and teachers views on educating students with special needs in the general education setting. Guiding questions for this study addressed the students’ academic performance, social skill development, and teachers attitudes towards working with students with special needs in an inclusive setting. The participants for this study included students with a learning disability who attended a large, urban high school in Southeast Wisconsin. Teacher participants were voluntary and worked in the same district as the student population being studied. Methods used included a paired t-test and one tailed t-tests to compare MAPs scores, common final exam scores, and overall classroom performance between students in a self-contained setting and students in both a supported and unsupported inclusive setting for Reading and Mathematics. Teachers responded to survey questions through Google forms and responses were completely anonymous. Data revealed that students in the self-contained setting performed higher and showed more growth on several of the tests conducted in this study. The results also indicated that there are significant differences between teacher attitudes depending on if they are a General Education teacher or a Special Education teacher. There were some limitations of this study, such as small sample size and the inclusion of only one disability category, but the findings suggest that further research would be beneficial for improving the education of students with special needs.
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