The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act have prompted many educational institutions to explore better ways of educating students. One solution to improve education for students, especially those students receiving special education services, is to teach collaboratively; combining the expertise of a general education teacher and a special education teacher in one classroom to share the responsibilities of effectively educating a diverse group of students. Many teachers are not well-prepared to enter into a collaborative teaching partnership, and the administrators are equally unprepared to assist in the co-teaching partnerships between the teachers in the building. The problems are lack of professional development, time for co-planning, and administrative support. The intent of this case study was to investigate teachers' and administrators' lived experiences from a central Alabama public school district whose teaching or administrative experiences range from five to 35 years and to help find solutions to the obstacles that prevent successful collaborative teaching. The study was conducted using a qualitative multiple case study approach with nine teachers and three administrators from the Alexander City school district (ACSD) consisting of three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school of average class size. The research was done using a case study approach which is designed to allow the researcher to gain in-depth understanding of phenomena from descriptions and explanations. The participants were interviewed to identify effective key components that make collaborative teaching a success. The data consisted of words from each administrator and collaborative teacher. Transcripts were coded into themes based on key words of participants. It was revealed that all co-teaching partners agreed that co-teaching was beneficial to students as well as co-teachers because of the support the general and special education teacher gave to each other in the classroom. They also agreed that professional development was needed to enhance their co-teaching efforts. Some had concerns that co-teaching was not enough to prepare students to fulfill the states' expectations of college and career ready by graduation from high school. Each administrator agreed that they needed professional development so that they may better support their teachers in co-taught classrooms. They also perceived that lack of funding was an obstacle for obtaining all of the necessary components to co-teach successfully. Recommendations include providing co-teachers and administrators with professional development to enhance co-teaching and obtaining more involvement for educational stakeholders to assist in eliminating obstacles that prevent co-teaching from being a total success.
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Middle School education, Elementary education, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Alabama, Collaborative teaching, Teacher perceptions|
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