Using Students' Drawings to Elicit General and Special Educators' Perceptions of Co-Teaching

Harriet J. Bessette, Kennesaw State University


This paper describes the findings of a study of general and special educators' perceptions of co-teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms. A total of 85 students, 20 general education, and 11 special education teachers participated in this investigation in which student drawings were used as both data and as tools to spark teacher reflection. Students' pictorial depictions of co-teaching were analyzed for apparent features and traits. Co-teachers' reactions to the drawings were springboards for reflective conversations around modifications they felt needed to take place to improve co-teaching. Findings suggest that proactive role distribution, support structures, and trust building are critical factors in strengthening co-teaching. Implications for practice are discussed.