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WHDL - 00014625
Research confirms that student-centered learning and technology are beneficial to the development of a students’ academic success. Research exists that explains the need for implementing technology and student-centered learning in educating all students and engaging students in the learning process. Research, however, does not specifically discuss middle school students diagnosed with mild intellectual disabilities and the impact student-centered learning or technology has on engagement and learning. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to determine the impact of student-centered learning as implemented through the use of technology on the level of engagement in the mainstream classroom for middle school students with mild intellectual disabilities. Additionally, the perceptions of teachers on the implementation of student-centered learning through the use of technology was examined. Purposeful sampling was used to identify five middle school general education teachers. Rich data from the phenomenon of experiences with this topic was gathered. The selected teachers participated in a semistructured open-ended interview to respond to a protocol that was aligned with each research question. After categorizing and theming the data, the findings of this study showed that, while extra support and distractions are still factors in the learning process, middle school students with mild intellectual disabilities were more engaged in the learning process, had increased participation, production, growth and confidence, and the use of technology leveled learning for the students increased access to learning material in student-centered mainstream classrooms.
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