Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2018

Academic Department



Inclusive classrooms are becoming more prevalent in public schools, with many schools using push-in as a support for inclusion. While there is significant research supporting the benefits of push-in on academics for students, little is known about the social impacts of push-in. This study examined the academic and social benefits of a push-in, inclusive education for students with special needs and their general education peers. Previous research has demonstrated that the use of cooperative learning groups can be an effective strategy for inclusion. The focus of this study was on cooperative learning groups in an inclusive classroom. This strategy was implemented in a third-grade classroom and showed, overall, positive results. The study used a pre- and post- test design to collect data on the effectiveness of cooperative learning groups for students with special needs in the inclusive classroom. Additionally, an anonymous classroom survey was completed to determine additional social implications of cooperative learning groups. Results showed that, with the use of cooperative learning groups, the students with special needs showed an increase in the number of interactions with their peers, and the general education students agreed that the cooperative learning groups helped them work better with their peers.


Senior thesis.