Tennessee High School Teachers' Experiences with Students with Disabilities in the Integrated Mathematics Curriculum
Since national standards for mathematics education are pushing the implementation of concept-based, integrated curricula without setting any guidelines or expectations for the special education (SPED) community, this study sought to understand high school teachers’ experiences with students with learning disabilities after changing from a traditional mathematics curriculum to an integrated one. An interpretive approach was adopted in order to make sense of the data collected from three secondary school mathematics teachers through structured interviews, a focus group, and relevant documents (e.g. lesson plans) with the goal of understanding the educational reform from the teachers’ perspectives with special emphasis on their beliefs about students with learning disabilities. Data analysis showed an overall agreement on the appropriateness of integrated mathematics (IM) curricula in special education classrooms since they seem to offer students more accessible, richer experiences which promote a feeling of ownership of the material.