Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Peter A. Ross

Abstract

Coteaching is a mandated practice in which students with disabilities are educated in the general education setting among their peers, but it often is not effectively implemented. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of both middle school general education and special education teacher relative to coteaching parity and barriers to effective coteaching practices. Friend and Cook's conceptual framework of collaboration, outlining the importance of understanding roles when working in teams, supported the purpose and design of this study. The research questions were designed to investigate the extent to which the general and special education teachers share coteaching responsibilities and implementation of coteaching practices. Eleven general and special education teachers participated in interviews and observations. Teachers were selected through convenience sampling from a large school district in the Southeastern United States. Data were analyzed with thematic coding and open coding. General education teachers were perceived as clearly dominating lesson planning and delivery during interviews and observations. Common perceived barriers to effective coteaching included low expectations of the special education teacher, limited coplanning time, inadequate training, large class sizes, student behaviors, and issues with special education teacher presence. The results of this study can promote positive social change by helping improve the coteaching environment for teachers and help administrators make informed decisions that will facilitate more effective coteaching decisions.

 
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