Collaborative research: A new paradigm for systemic change in inclusive education for students with disabilities

Andrea L. Ruppar, Aydin Bal, Taucia Gonzalez, Larry Love, Kate McCabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Research conducted in collaboration with practitioners has the potential to transform the relationship between research and practice by embedding the research process in the contexts of schools and communities. Collaborative research is well suited to improve inclusive education, because inclusive education reform is situated in local contexts. In this review, we examined research focused on inclusive education, specifically for students with disabilities, that used collaborative research methodologies. We defined collaborative research as partnerships between university- and school-based researchers to examine local issues and extend knowledge in the field. We found that the collaborative research varied widely in relation to research team membership, and team members’ roles, and research methodologies. Improving inclusive education through collaborative research will require a paradigm shift in the research community toward conceptually and empirically considering the role of social, historical, and organizational of local school contexts in improving inclusive education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-795
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Special Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Change/innovation
  • Collaborative interests
  • Inclusive education
  • Research methodology
  • perspectives and goals of multiple groups (e.g. Parents, Teachers, Administrators; Vlachou 1997)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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