Inclusive Practices and the Achievement Gap between Students with and without an Individualized Education Plan

Evalynne W. Lindberg, Chancey T. Bosch, Marcia P. Livingston-Galloway


Philosophy, ethics, legal mandates, educational theory, classroom application, and research has neither concluded nor reached scholarly saturation on the successful implementation of inclusion. This study examines inclusive practices for students with special needs by focusing on one innovative approach to narrowing the achievement gap between students on an Individual Education Plans (IEP) and students not on IEP. The innovative approach examined combined three research-based practices to create one school-wide pedagogy. The public middle school in this study integrated three educational approaches known as “Tribes,” “Integrated Thematic Instruction (ITI)”, and “MicroSocieties”. An 11-year study revealed statistically significant relationship between the innovative approach and the achievement gap between students on IEPs and students not on IEPs. Descriptive statistics and parametric testing, a linear regression, were used to make inferences in the relationship. Implications of the study continue to support existing research on individual inclusive practices, but more importantly the innovative integration of inclusive practices.

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