Date of Award


Document Type


Selected Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities




School of Education and Human Services


In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) became the first enacted policy that led the fight against ableism, providing students with disabilities the right to public education. In 2004, this policy became known as the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which included these major components supporting the policy of inclusion: Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Individual Education Plans (IEP), and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This study highlights how teacher preparation programs are pivotal in preservice teachers' attitudes toward inclusion. The data for this study was collected and analyzed based on quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with preservice teachers at Preparatory University (pseudonym). The findings of this study confirmed that teacher preparation programs impact preservice teachers' attitudes toward inclusion. However, there remains a significant gap in the components of the specific aspects of the curriculum that affected preservice teachers' attitudes. The broad understanding of inclusion captured by preservice teachers demonstrated barriers to inclusive attitudes, but there needs to be more understanding of inclusion from a social justice lens. Further, preservice teachers in this study support inclusion and have inclusive attitudes. However, there were significant implications of concerns on implementation and feasibility of inclusion within the confines of the educational system. These findings indicate the need for more inclusive educational resources within our teacher preparation programs, redesigning the pedagogical core, and restructuring the educational system to support inclusion and the fight against ableism

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Education Commons