Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Department

Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Raynice Jean-Sigur

First Committee Member

Dr. Camille Sutton-Brown-Fox

Second Committee Member

Dr. Marielle Myers

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions and experiences of third and fourth grade elementary mathematics teachers and special education teachers regarding the co-teaching inclusion model. Views of general and special education teachers toward co-teaching in mathematics in elementary classrooms was investigated. This study sought to explore how (a) elementary mathematics teachers perceived Friend’s (2008) co-teaching model, (b) which co-teaching models are most frequently used, and (c) to determine if there were similarities and/or differences between the co-teachers’ perspectives. Questionnaires, personal semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and focus group sessions were used. Data were presented utilizing a case study approach. Data collected during this study support the results of other studies and literature that identify the needs and perceptions of co-teachers. Additional results found in this study not found by other research included 1) most participants delivered mathematics instruction using the station teaching model, 2) the one-teach one-observe method was not used in any of the mathematics classrooms and was viewed negatively by some of the participants, 3) some teachers believe students are placed in co-taught classes because of poor student behavior, not due to a learning disability, 4) if the formerly mentioned is teachers’ realities, teachers believe that professional development in behavior management would improve their ability to create a productive learning environment. Implications of this study support the understanding of co-teachers’ needs for training and shared planning times. Co-teachers’ expressed that planning time and professional development would help them in further development of their co-teaching knowledge and skills, improve instruction in their inclusive classrooms, and in managing misbehaviors. The results will benefit stakeholders in elementary schools including administrators, all students in inclusive general education classrooms, and particularly co-teachers.

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