Since the enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, classrooms in the United States have changed over the years. These laws have added numerous responsibilities for teachers, especially the Least Restrictive Environment mandate that places more students with disabilities in the general education classrooms. A review of the literature shows that even though more skills are required to teach in more diverse classrooms, teacher training programs have not changed in response to this need. A second problem related to insufficient teacher training is the increase in students being referred to special education programs because the regular education teachers haven't learned how to successfully teach students with special needs. There is a dire need to modify teacher training programs from separate general and special education departments to more integrated, collaborative programs. An overhaul of teacher training programs will be a time-intensive endeavor; therefore, other short term solutions for teachers need to be considered. Preparing competent, effective teachers will ensure that laws affecting the classrooms will be carried out in the way they were intended so that all students receive the best education possible in the environment best suited to their needs. There is a need for continued research to determine the best training strategies to fulfill the needs of all teachers, which in turn will result in the best outcomes for all students.


Daniel D. Houlihan

Committee Member

Kathy M. Bertsch

Committee Member

Jasper S. Hunt

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Studies and Research

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



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