School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Deanna L. Keith


Differentiated Instruction, Differentiation, Learning Profiles, Learning Styles, Least Restrictive Environment, Students with Disabilties


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Elementary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


The purpose of this quantitative multivariate correlational study was to determine if there is a significant relationship between a general education teacher’s perception of learner characteristics for Students with Disabilities (SWD) and a teacher’s use of Differentiated Instruction (DI) in the general education classroom, grades 6-12. Since previous studies did not clearly support any significant benefits in utilizing segregated instruction for the teaching of students with exceptionalities, it was vital to identify research-based methods to facilitate the education of all students in the general education classroom. Sustained by research on student achievement, the proper and comprehensive implementation of DI has shown to benefit students of all ability levels. Therefore, the intention of this study was to add to the research concerning the importance of the classroom teacher in the successful implementation of DI. Fifty-two general education teachers from grades 6-12 who work with SWD from a large school district in Southeast Georgia participated in the study and completed a five-point Likert scale survey. A canonical correlation, used to analyze the relationship between the variables in the data, suggested that 10 out of 21 correlations were statistically significant. Of the remaining correlations, ten showed non-significant positive correlations and one showed a non-significant negative correlation between mean assessment and mean interest. Furthermore, the researcher did not find a statistically significant relationship between a teacher’s overall of identification of a student’s learning styles and a teacher’s overall frequency to differentiate instruction in the general education classroom, grades 6-12. Suggestions for future research are included.