School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Angela Marguerite Smith


teacher, school, students, high school, experience, special education teacher


Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of special education teachers with general education teachers who are not in a co-teaching model of inclusion in North Carolina high schools. The study examined how inclusion is implemented at the school level and how special education teachers and general education teachers collaborate for students with disabilities. Special education teachers working at the high school level in North Carolina are the participants in this study. The setting for the study is high schools within the state of North Carolina. The central question for this study asks how special education teachers describe their experiences working with general education teachers within the high school environment when working with students with disabilities in the model of inclusion. The theory guiding this study is Kahn’s (1990) social exchange theory, which focuses on meaningfulness, availability, and safety within an organization. The data were collected through interviews, focus groups, and a writing sample and organized into themes. Data analysis was completed through bracketing, phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis. The results from the data analysis focused on three themes: Challenges with Collaboration, General Education Teachers’ Lack of Understanding of the IEP, and Challenges with Special Education Teachers Meeting all Responsibilities.