Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Brett E Blake

Second Advisor

Brett E Blake

Third Advisor

Aly McDowell


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty in major aspects of national and global society. This pandemic has had an extreme impact on education. Since March, 2020, the education system has changed drastically. Schools, educators, families, and students are experiencing unprecedented times and are finding a way to navigate and determine the best way to educate students. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, middle school students, particularly middle school students with learning disabilities have had a difficult time obtaining support for reading/literacy instruction. According to Allington (2011), much of the literacy instruction support is given to elementary school students and middle school students. In addition, middle school students are expected to come to middle school with that knowledge (Vaughn, et al., 2012; Wanzek et al., 2011). Students with learning disabilities benefit from explicit and sequenced instruction. Educators can help students with learning disabilities learn how to use scaffolding materials for managing their assignments. Although there are many challenges for students with learning disabilities in secondary schools; classroom strategies, such as scaffolding, may help students achieve in various locations, including inclusion and self contained classrooms. The following study explored the perceptions of these scaffolding materials, including chunking texts, color coding, graphic organizers, and sentence structures/starters on middle school students with learning disabilities in inclusion and self-contained classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study utilized Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory as it relates to intrinsic motivation. This qualitative study used case study research and incorporated middle school students’ perspectives on scaffolding material used within the content area classrooms. The data collection encompassed an understanding of reasons and opinions about the scaffolding materials by interviewing students with learning disabilities in content area classrooms.