Date of Award

Spring 2-10-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Julia Kirk


Teachers working in a special education self-contained classroom were required to implement evidence-based practices and interventions, rarely researched in a school setting, with fidelity to meet the needs of students with intellectual disabilities. Evidence-based practices and interventions for students with intellectual disabilities were researched in clinical settings with one to three student participants and without a common evaluation tool. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to use the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model General Educator Rubric to investigate how experienced teachers used multifaceted learning theory when implementing evidence-based practices and interventions in a diverse special education self-contained classroom to help students access Tennessee state standards. Special education teachers from eight different schools across Tennessee were interviewed and observed using the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model General Educator Rubric, which I aligned to different learning theories. I found how special education teachers planned activities, used reinforcements, and developed their knowledge of the content and their students to accommodate and modify evidence-based practices and interventions. I observed teachers in special education self-contained classrooms apply 150 (50%) behavioral learning theory strategies, 106 (36%) cognitive learning theory strategies, and 42 (14%) constructivist learning theory strategies. These findings should continue to be explored to further develop a common evaluation tool to monitor the use of multifaceted learning theory in a special education self-contained classroom instead of requiring fidelity of evidence-based practices and interventions.


special education, self contained classroom, multifaceted learning theory, evidence based practices, TEAM general educator rubric, behavioral cognitive constructivist learning theories