Inclusive pedagogy for diverse learners: Science instruction, disability, and the community college

2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

The following study examined the use of inclusive pedagogy by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty at three community colleges. The study was developed in response to a gap in existing knowledge about inclusive instruction in two-year colleges. The purpose was to identify barriers to the adoption of inclusive teaching methods for diverse learners and students with disabilities, and to propose ways to break down these barriers. Three research questions designed for the study asked about (a) the current teaching styles and methods of curriculum delivery used by community college STEM faculty, (b) the levels of awareness and knowledge of community college STEM faculty about inclusive teaching practices, and (c) the personal, attitudinal, and environmental factors that inhibit community college STEM faculty from using inclusive pedagogical practices to better serve students with disabilities and other diverse students. A sequential method was used to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data regarding instructional practices, pedagogical knowledge, and beliefs about teaching and learning. Two hundred and eleven STEM faculty members responded to a questionnaire that was administered electronically and 11 faculty members were interviewed, 9 of whom were observed in the classroom. Findings revealed that a significant number of these community college faculty members have an inclusive mindset and believe in adapting their instruction in order to accommodate learner differences. These faculty members also appear more knowledgeable about pedagogical practices than what has been reported in previous literature about four-year faculty. Many of the faculty members are using multimodal instructional methods. However, a significant gap still exists between what they believe and know and what is actually put into instructional practice. A number of barriers that prohibit the use and development of inclusive practices were identified in this study. The most significant among the barriers reported were the lack of an inclusive mindset, lack of knowledge about pedagogy, high teaching loads, and lack of time for instructional development. Implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed.

Indexing (details)

Community colleges;
Special education;
Science education
0727: Curricula
0727: Teaching
0275: Community colleges
0529: Special education
0714: Science education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Community college; Disability; Diverse learners; Inclusion; Science
Inclusive pedagogy for diverse learners: Science instruction, disability, and the community college
Moriarty, Mary A.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 67/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Berger, Joseph B.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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