Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Alagaraja, Meera

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Ingle, Kyle

Committee Member

Ingle, Kyle

Committee Member

Washington, Ahmad

Committee Member

Hampton, Georgia

Author's Keywords

inclusion; english language learners; instruction; culturally responsive teaching; mainstream classroom; teacher perceptions


This dissertation was designed to inform educators, practitioners, and policy makers on equity-based instruction for ELLs by examining secondary teachers’ perceptions and practice on inclusion. A dominant qualitative research design was used for this study. A survey adapted from Reeves (2002) research on secondary teacher’s attitudes and perceptions on the inclusion of English as a Second Language (ESL) student in mainstream classrooms was administered to 212 secondary teachers in three high schools who have shown significant growth in their ESL student enrollment. The study then interviewed six teachers who participated in the survey on their personal experiences with instructing ELLs in their classroom. The Intrinsic Motivational Framework used for Culturally Responsive Teaching by Wlodowski and Ginsberg (1995) framed the study under the four motivational conditions: establishing inclusion, developing attitude, enhancing meaning and engendering competence. The study examined literature on policy, programming, and culturally responsive teaching and how these may influence achievement in the mainstream classroom for ELLs. The cross-analysis of the survey and interview data uncovered responses related to the themes: inclusion, instructional practice, support, and access to culturally responsive teaching. The study concludes by providing implications for schools, classrooms, and teachers on how to create an inclusive learning environment through the effective mainstreaming of ELLs that acknowledges the experiences and culture of each student.