How to create an inclusive classroom

This thesis describes selected special education educators' perspectives of the necessary components of co-teaching, collaboration, and inclusive practices in the delivery of a standards-based curriculum at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The researcher collected data from interviewing three different special education teachers from three different school sites. The teachers taught in the classrooms that had students with and without disabilities. This study focuses upon the practical logistics of inclusion, collaboration among educators, administrative support, and lessons learned from experience, and advice to new educators. Interview results indicated that special education teachers do support co-teaching, and inclusion as a means for providing students with disabilities access to the general education core curriculum. The general education teachers felt they had a better chance of instructing students with special needs by working together with special educators than working alone. KEY WORDS: Collaboration, co-teaching, inclusion, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, perceptions