Educational Policy, Inclusive Classrooms and the Pursuit of Equity

Regina Marie Kaishian, Fordham University


Educational policy changes in the U.S. have contributed to a shift in more students with special needs being educated in inclusive classrooms alongside their general education peers. While this technical change in location is a promising move toward a more socially just experience for children, research as to the efficacy of inclusive education has had gaps. This quantitative study used the CLASS, an objective observation tool, to examine how teacher-student interactions might differ depending upon whether the class was inclusive of special education students or not. The results were compared across each of the CLASS domains, Emotional Support, Classroom Organization and Instructional Support. The data showed that in this K – 2 elementary school in a predominantly white, suburban neighborhood, no significant difference existed. By looking beyond test scores and rating scales that focused on teacher perspective, this study shed light upon the student experience. Student voice is crucial given the intersection, embedded within U.S. history, of the treatment of people with disabilities and the treatment of others from groups outside of the dominant culture. This study is important in that it adds to the body of research that school leaders can use to more fully examine how policy changes impact students’ lives.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Special education|Disability studies

Recommended Citation

Kaishian, Regina Marie, "Educational Policy, Inclusive Classrooms and the Pursuit of Equity" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27834016.