Special Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Importance and Presence of Co-Teaching Practices in Secondary Schools
Julie Delkamiller, Ed.D.; Elizabeth Leader-Janssen, Ph.D.

This pilot mixed methods study examined secondary special education teachers’ perceptions of importance compared to the presence of current co-teaching practices. Special education teachers were given The Colorado Assessment of Co-Teaching (CO-ACT) to assess the importance and actual presence of factors related to personal prerequisites, professional relationships, and classroom dynamics in their co-teaching environments. The teachers were also given two open-ended questions to provide additional insight into the reality of coteaching experiences. One significant finding is that special education teachers believed planning and communication were the most important aspects of co-teaching, but that it was not present to the degree that makes co-teaching effective. The most common responses to the questions of what is important for a successful co-taught lesson were planning, communication, differentiated instruction and assessment. The general education teacher is a master in the specific content area and the special education teacher is a master in providing access to that content using a variety of strategies. Therefore, co-teaching should provide the opportunity to differentiate instruction, and as evidenced by this study, it is not happening consistently despite believing it would be beneficial.

Full Text: PDF