A qualitative case study of a co-teaching relationship at a rural high school
Nickelson, Diane K.
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No Child Left Behind and The Education for All Handicapped Children Acts have required schools to educate students with disabilities in new ways. Co-teaching is one model with the potential to unite the traditionally parallel systems of special education and regular education as well as effectively increase outcomes for all students within the general education classroom. This case study specifically examined a co-teaching relationship between a general education and a special education teacher at rural secondary school where students with disabilities were served through traditional pullout and inclusion models. One special education teacher, one general education English teacher, and the principal of the school provided data that told the story of how a co-teaching relationship developed and of its impact on the teachers and students involved. Research data for this qualitative study were collected through individual and focus group interviews, observations, and a review of pertinent documents. Data analysis consisted of open and axial coding and applying the constant comparative method to determine connections between and among the data collected. Findings from this study revealed that the teachers grounded the co-teaching relationship in a common belief system and set of experiences. Both teachers experienced an increase in their sense of self and collective efficacy as a result of the growth and development of the relationship. Students with disabilities in their co-taught classroom experienced higher levels achievement as well. Secondary school organizational structures were identified as an important factor when designing and implementing co-teaching relationship.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership