Author(s)

Pamela Brillante

Date Approved

1-12-2015

Embargo Period

1-12-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Somdahl-Sands, Katrinka

Subject(s)

Children with disabilities--Education;Geography--Study and teaching

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate if there was (a) a statistically significant relationship between the different classroom placements special education students were educated in, and instruction in the core subject area of geography and (b) gather the reported beliefs of special education teachers who are teaching in segregated classrooms, about the importance of geographic skills and content knowledge in order for students with disabilities to be able to self-advocate in the future. The results of this study identified that there were statistically significant relationships found across all of the standards highlighting the difference of where a student was educated and their access to the same amount of geography related books and materials as their typically developing peers. It was reported by the teachers that students educated outside of schools where typical peers were present had far less access to these material than their typical peers as compared to students in segregated classrooms in schools with typically developing peers were present. There were also statistically significant relationships found across all of the standards as teachers reported that students educated in schools without typically developing peers made far less progress made towards geography standards as compared to their typical peers as did students educated in segregated classrooms in schools with typically developing peers were present. In the area of participation in activities and instruction in geography topics, most of the standards did not show a statistical significance between placements in schools with typical peers and without, but most instances that data showed that none of the students educated outside of the general education classroom were participating in instruction in geography topics. Additionally, special education teachers teaching in segregated settings reported that they did not feel that the majority of the geography skills and knowledge presented in the survey were very important or essential for students with disabilities to know in order to be able to self-advocate and live as independently as possible in the future.

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