Date of Award/Publication

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Special Education




Social development in relation to classroom setting is a highly studied topic in regards to the current inclusion movement. Research specific to social development in a variety of classroom settings has increased immensely over the past ten years as the mandates encompassing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act have strengthened. Research supports inclusion for creating a balance between social development and academic development, which are both equally as important to the overall development of an elementary student. The following literature review will synthesize current literature while focusing on descriptors of inclusive practice, perspectives on inclusion and how inclusion supports social development. Following the literature review is an action research study that supports the current research by proposing that inclusion classrooms provide significantly more beneficial opportunities for students with disabilities to develop appropriate social skills.

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