Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Minor

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Denny


Co-teaching is one of the most used service delivery models for students with disabilities within general education classrooms. In co-taught classrooms, a general education teacher and a special education teacher work together to provide instruction to both general education students and special education students. This allows students with disabilities to learn alongside their same-age peers, as they can access the general education curriculum while also receiving the supports and services of a special education teacher. The purpose of this study was to examine how co-teachers at Washington Junior High (WJH; a pseudonym) felt about co-teaching and the co-teaching program. Twelve teachers were interviewed and asked a variety of questions pertaining to their co-teaching experiences and their thoughts, reflections, and suggestions. The results were compared to the academic literature and research already published on co-teaching to make suggestions for improvements to the co-teaching program at WJH, as well as policy recommendations. The primary research question related to how to improve co-teaching at WJH to service students with disabilities within inclusive settings and the secondary question related to whether schools should offer co-taught classes in other core content areas, such as science and social studies. The findings of the research with co-teachers at WJH showed co-taught classrooms are beneficial to students with disabilities. Results also yielded additional insights into a need for more common plan time, increased professional development around co-teaching models, and an understanding of roles and expectations among co-teachers. Additionally, there is a need for change in policy to increase the course offerings of co-taught classes to include all core academic subject areas: language arts, math, social studies, and science. Last, there needs to be a general adoption of the philosophy that what is good for one student is good for all students as a way to support all students and normalize the use of learning supports.