Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gail Ingwalson


The purpose of this research study is to identify solutions that can improve equity and inclusion measures in the educational classroom settings for all school community members. This qualitative research explores educators’ perceptions of solutions and barriers to improving equity and inclusion in education. Currently, there is limited research from this stakeholder perspective. This bottom-up research approach aims to determine the needs of those stakeholders in the immediate environment and what supports they feel are necessary to make immediate and lasting change. The qualitative research study took place in a small Pennsylvania school with an enrollment of 387 students and approximately 50 classroom educators. The study consists of seventeen (17) participants who were interviewed one-on-one or in a small focus group with the researcher. Participants are individuals who serve students directly in the classroom. After the research data was coded and analyzed, it was determined that student support, staff support, and classroom support were necessary to increase equity and inclusion in the classroom. The findings included ten themes: access to services, increasing staff diversity, valuing stakeholder input, educator development, hiring additional staff, community building, representation, evaluation of curriculum, self and students, time allocation, and funding. As a significant contribution, this research provides immediate action steps and food for further thought and exploration.