Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


This literature review examined studies focusing on how students with disabilities are benefited by receiving services in the general education classroom, or least restrictive environment. It also aims to determine the negative impacts of students with special education needs (SEN) receiving instruction alongside their nondisabled peers, regarding both academic and social-emotional outcomes. As the trend for inclusive practices continues to rise nationally, it is critical that educators have access to and are knowledgeable of the successfully implemented inclusional classroom, where students of all academic abilities are integrated into the classroom community. Inclusion is relevant to all educators who teach students with a wide range of needs, and legislative mandates require those who teach students with SEN do so in the general education setting whenever possible. Within this literature review, the following questions are addressed: What are the academic and social-emotional impacts of inclusive classrooms on special education students? As approaches to special education continue to evolve, it is critical that administration revisit such an important issue that may play a significant role in students’ success. Results of the research analyzed suggest mixed results for both academic and social-emotional outcomes for students with disabilities in the inclusive classroom. Despite this, the short- and long-term positive results of the inclusive classroom are noteworthy, as educators continue working to integrate all students into the general education setting.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis