Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Special Education and Habilitative Services

Major Professor

Flynn, Linda

Second Advisor

Kieff, Judith

Third Advisor

Reynolds, Kate

Fourth Advisor

Janz, Jan


Co-teaching is an approach that is frequently used by schools when students both with and without disabilities are taught in an inclusive classroom. With co-teaching, a general education teacher and a special education teacher share the responsibility of planning and teaching students. This study examined the perceptions of elementary special education co-teachers (n=81) regarding their collaboration with the general educator and their involvement in instruction in the inclusive classroom. In addition, the special education teachers' satisfaction with the co-teaching assignment was investigated. Findings showed that special education co-teachers shared an average of 30 minutes of co-planning a week, teachers who volunteered to co-teach were more likely to plan more often than teachers who were assigned to co-teach, teachers in their first 3 years of the co-teaching relationship tended to have scheduled planning time compared to the spontaneous planning time of co-teachers with long-term relationships. Co-teachers shared the management of the behaviors of all of the students in the classroom. The primary role of the co-teacher was "floating and assisting" with all students rather than focusing solely on the students with disabilities. However, many co-teachers taught small groups of students comprised of students both with and without disabilities. Overall, co-teachers were satisfied with their assignment and career.


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