Co -teachers' perceptions of the collaborative instruction of elementary and secondary students with and without disabilities in inclusive classrooms

Vance Layne Austin, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to provide information about co-teachers' perceptions of the current practice of collaborative teaching in inclusive classrooms. The investigation focused primarily on several important factors affecting collaborative teaching, which included the following: (a) effective strategies both valued and employed, (b) important teacher preparations, and (c) valued school-based supports. Information relative to these issues was gathered using the Perceptions of Co-Teaching Survey. ^ A number of the survey respondents were randomly selected to participate in an interview, which was conducted using a semistructured format. Of the 139 participants who returned the completed survey, 92 represented intact co-teaching partners. From this respondent pool, 12 co-teachers were interviewed. ^ The major findings of the survey showed a significant difference between co-teacher responses in the “Value” category (practices ideally valued) versus the “employ” category (practices actually employed). The results suggested that more co-teachers valued the practices, teacher preparations, and school-based supports in theory than did co-teachers who actually had employed them. In addition, a majority of special education and general education co-teachers indicated that they believed general education co-teachers did more than their special education partners in the inclusive classroom. Finally, the results of the interview revealed that the majority of co-teachers believed co-teaching contributed to the academic and social development of their students who were generally receptive to collaborative teaching. ^ Based on current trends in education, the inclusion model appears to be gaining wide acceptance as a viable service option for many students. This reality should impel school districts and teacher education programs to provide training, practices, and supports that prepare teachers to serve in inclusive classrooms. To ignore this responsibility is to shortchange these teachers and, ultimately, their students. ^

Subject Area

Education, Special|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Vance Layne Austin, "Co -teachers' perceptions of the collaborative instruction of elementary and secondary students with and without disabilities in inclusive classrooms" (January 1, 2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9960946.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9960946

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