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Educator Attitudes toward Middle and Secondary School Co-teaching

Jenna M Koster, Johnson & Wales University


With current federal mandates in place, school districts have faced challenges in ensuring all students receive access to the general education curriculum (Cook, Chamberlain, Friend & Shamberger, 2010; Murawski & Dieker, 2013). To aid in alleviating requirements of federal mandates, many school districts have implemented the inclusion model of co-teaching to ensure special educations students are receiving access to the general education curriculum at least 80% of their school day (Friend, 2018; Murawski & Dieker, 2013). However, co-teaching has many misconceptions, specifically regarding teacher and administrator attitudes (Cook et al., 2010; Friend, 2018; Harris, 2014; Murawski & Dieker, 2013). This embedded mixed methods study investigated and explored attitudes of stakeholders regarding co-teaching. Co-teaching is multi-faceted and therefore is recommended to be implemented incrementally to address any misconceptions tied to the inclusion model. The study explored the dimensions of co-teaching tied to the components of cognitive, behavioral and affective attitude (Boehner & Schwartz, 2001; Breckler, 1984). The embedded mixed methods study addressed seven research questions; five quantitative and two qualitative. During the quantitative phase, a questionnaire was administered to all building level administration, guidance counselors and teachers in grades 6-12 within a school district in the Northeast. The quantitative survey was distributed to investigate stakeholder attitudes regarding co-teaching. In the qualitative phase, four interviews were conducted to explore and interpret the attitudes’ of stakeholders in regards to the data from the quantitative survey. The findings from this embedded mixed methods study included the need for administrative support, continuous professional development, intentionality behind scheduling, and understanding the instructional model to effectively benefit all students. The results from this study may benefit school leaders, guidance counselors, and teachers in identifying the supports needed to create an effective co-teaching model, which in turn may lead to student academic success and may help close the achievement gap that exists between special education students and general education students.

Subject Area

Education philosophy|Educational leadership|Educational sociology

Recommended Citation

Koster, Jenna M, "Educator Attitudes toward Middle and Secondary School Co-teaching" (2020). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI27959325.