Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Instruction and Curriculum: Educational Differentiation (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Kelly Margot

Academic Year



Inclusion provides students in special education the opportunity to learn alongside their same-aged peers to the greatest extent that is appropriate. Although many special education students are included in general education classrooms, it is common that teachers do not practice asset-based approaches during instruction. Understanding and recognizing student strengths will help educators organize teaching strategies to equip students with the skills to identify what they learn well and what areas they have challenges in. It is crucial for teachers to provide meaningful learning opportunities that allow students to use their assets throughout the learning process. It is important for teachers to provide lessons that aim to maximize student strengths by focusing on their positive traits.

Using funds of knowledge and strengths-based teaching practices will help teachers advance student strengths and academics with appropriate classroom supports. Strengths-based learning is a solution that will positively affect student motivation, self-confidence, and enjoyment of learning. Additionally, using funds of knowledge is an approach to asset-based instruction, and this teaching practice will encourage students to feel connected to their learning. Strengths-based learning encourages teachers to appreciate student strengths and passions instead of focusing on the disability and impairment. When students apply their strengths and interests to their learning, they will succeed autonomously. When students are given the freedom to be their authentic selves while learning, they view their education as meaningful and will experience deeper understanding throughout the learning process. Teachers are more likely to maintain high expectations for these students and execute a curriculum that maintains rigorous expectations when they are prepared and given the tools to support students in special education

Included in

Education Commons