Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Vincent Connelly

Second Advisor

Patrick Shannon

Third Advisor

Mary Schuh


The purpose of the current qualitative study was to explore the in-depth experiences of school teachers in an urban public elementary school in Greece, looking at 1) their role as change agents, as it pertains to inclusive education practices, and 2) their conception of ownership toward this change

This case study utilized a Straussian grounded-theory design to guide the collecting and coding of interview data in order to identify emerging categories and generate substantive theory. The researcher collected data through interviews with 15 teachers, administrators and parents of the school community.

Adhering to a constant comparative analysis of the data, along with a continuous refinement of the categories into concepts this study established a grounded theory around the notion of ownership of inclusion and inclusive education practice in the case study school. The emerging themes pointed to the beginning of a conceptualization of the development of ownership as a notion that is ridden with contrasts between what’s right, ethical, moral and what individual teachers believed, reflected and perceived as capable of doing. At the core of ownership, as evidenced from the data analysis, is the notion of ideology as a start and end point of inclusive education practices.

The study suggests further qualitative research in the field of Teacher preparation and Inclusion focusing on those aspects of ideology and beliefs that seem to be at the center of an ideological battle that has profound effects on the practice of inclusive education practices. The study also provides an extensive list of recommendations for teacher training and preparation of the educators if inclusive pedagogical practices are to be incorporated in the current status of inclusion.