Study explores ways to support meaningful inclusion

By Learning Forward
August 2020
Vol. 41, No. 4
Learning Forward has hosted a series of webinars focused on teaching and learning during the COVID-19 realities of school building closures and remote classes. Throughout the series, no matter what the topic, participants have asked presenters how they are addressing the needs of students with disabilities and special needs. This repeated question about services and inclusion has been partly about how schools and districts are moving their in-school practices to an online or remote environment. However, the consistent nature of the question also raises the issue of which structures and practices intended to support students with disabilities are successful and which are not. A recent small qualitative study looks into this question and offers some insights and implications for professional learning. In an effort to

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Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth Foster ( is vice president, research & standards at Learning Forward. In each issue of The Learning Professional, Foster explores recent research to help practitioners understand the impact of particular professional learning practices on student outcomes.

The Study

Stelitano, L., Russell, J.L., & Bray, L.E. (2020). Organizing for meaningful inclusion: Exploring the routines that shape student supports in secondary schools. American Educational Research Journal, 57(2), 535-575.


NCES. (2020, May). The condition of education: Students with disabilities. Author.

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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