Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Bullying has plagued U.S. public schools: special education students become victims on a consistent basis and their academic outcomes may be adversely affected. Few studies have focused on the collaboration of teachers to reduce bullying. The purpose of the qualitative study of 12 special education teachers and counselors was to understand the process they use when they collaborate on reducing the bullying problem in a small Midwestern school in the United States. Montiel-Overall's theory of collaboration and Shulman's model of pedagogical content knowledge reflected the focus of the 2 research questions that informed this study. Participants described their collaboration and the influence it had on their knowledge, pedagogy, and curriculum. Analysis of open coding of interviews led to 5 themes. The value of collaboration in special education theme defined and described collaboration from the teachers' perspectives. The theme of the dynamics of the collaboration described the school's unique collaborative culture. Specific pedagogy and implementation of school curricula and initiatives were influenced by collaboration on bullying. Limitations of the study include the school culture influenced by frequently transferring students. The implications for action include the potential for the findings to be used as a guideline to formatively evaluate special education teachers' collaboration to reduce bullying. Implications for further research suggest observing collaborations about bullying, as this study only included interviews. Implications for positive social change include using a collaborative, cyclical social process to prevent bullying and to support students in order to contribute to a more peaceful and inclusive society based on civil behavior and a civil society.