Graduation Date

5-2018

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Jennifer Lucko, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Suresh Appavoo Ed.D.

Abstract

Students with learning disabilities who spend the majority of the school day in a general education classroom often struggle to appropriately deal with feelings of frustration and anxiety. There is currently a gap in understanding how special education teachers can support the social and emotional inclusion of students with learning disabilities when they are in the general education classroom. The purpose of this study is to explore the results of implementing a social-emotional curriculum both in a pullout setting and in the general education setting and examine the effect of the program on the behavior of students with learning disabilities in the general education classroom. This research expands on the ongoing dialog in the literature concerning the effects of explicit and targeted social-emotional instruction. Students with disabilities were included in the data collection in order to better understand how students perceive the effects of the curriculum. This is a qualitative study that consisted of interviews with ten students who qualify for special education services under the eligibility of Specific Learning Disability. Three teachers with participating students were also interviewed. Data showed that a social-emotional instructional program positively impacts both students with learning disabilities and the classroom as a whole by helping students increase their coping skills, which thereby helps reduce the instances of these students being upset at school and minimizes their reaction to academic and social struggles.

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