Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Jeannie Kleinhammer-Tramill

Co-Major Professor

Leonard C. Burrello


Educational Leadership, Inclusive Education, School Capacity, Teacher Learning


With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2002) and the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004), the inclusion of students with disabilities (SWDs) in general education classrooms has become more prevalent within our public schools (DuFour & Eaker, 1998; Mcleskey et al., 2010). Current research on inclusion focuses on student outcomes and procedural changes and not the contexts and capabilities of education leaders who are implementing it. Empirical research that examines how schools have built the capacity for sustaining these models, especially through the perspectives of those who implement it, is limited to date.

The purpose of the current study was to examine in depth one school's capacity development during their own inclusive education reform. Specifically, this study (1) explored how school leaders perceived their own capacity in initiating and implementing inclusion reform; (2) explored how leaders perceived the school's capacity to implement inclusion and (3) explored how their capacity to implement inclusion aligned with the school capacity literature.

Case study methodology was used to make meaning of the participants' individual perspectives and weave them into an integral whole. This case study sought to uncover the perspectives that school leaders (teacher leaders and administrative leaders) placed on their capacities to initiate and sustain an effective inclusive education model.