Date of Award

Winter 12-16-2019

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa

Keywords

Special Education, Inclusion, Self-Awareness, Elementary, Social and Emotional Learning

Abstract

Self-awareness is not something that develops individually or in solitude. Merriam-Webster (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2019) defines self-awareness as, “an awareness of one's own personality or individuality.” Schools have started to increase their understanding of the relevance of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and have been progressively providing more training in this area to their teachers. Inclusion happens when students with disabilities to mingle and learn with typically developing students; learn from each other and experiencing social expectations together. Research has indicated that students with learning and behavior disabilities lack social and emotional skills, specifically self-awareness skills.

In this study, educators were surveyed on their experience with inclusion and the self-awareness abilities of their students. The study focuses on the feelings and attitudes associated between inclusion and students’ self-awareness. The purpose was to understand education professionals’ thoughts and perspectives towards inclusion and their awareness of the effects that inclusion has on a special education students’ self-awareness skills. The participants in this study have given written permission and agreement to be part of this study. They remain anonymous to maintain confidentiality and validity of the data provided. It has been concluded that the participants surveyed support inclusion in their classrooms, but are uncomfortable including all special education students in their classrooms. The participants expressed that they understand what self-awareness is, but do not believe inclusion will increase self-awareness skills among students with disabilities.

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