Teachers’ Perceptions of Effective Co-Teaching
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This study was designed to evaluate the perceptions that general and special education teachers have toward effective co-teaching. The researcher used an anonymous survey to gather information from 39 teachers who were currently in a co-teaching assignment. Three survey responses were statistically analyzed using a Chi Square analysis. The remainder of the survey was analyzed qualitatively, using charts and graphs to report the results. Results indicate that teachers believe they need paid planning time prior to the school year, common planning time during the school day and professional development to achieve effective co-teaching. When prioritizing importance, willingness to teach together and teaching styles/compatibility ranked as the two highest priorities for successful co-teaching. Furthermore, responsibilities of the co-teachers fall on both teachers and are considered shared tasks in and out of the classroom. Further results indicate that the teaching model used most often was the one teach/one assist. Additionally, general and special education teachers do share the responsibilities of grading, classroom management, lesson planning, writing/planning summative assessments/ essays/ projects and attending IEP meetings that come with teaching inclusively. Furthermore, the research indicated that the largest benefit of co-teaching is differentiation/having two perspectives and instructing with similar teaching styles and the biggest obstacle is lack of planning time or time to prep together and the second largest obstacle is the absence of compatibility/mutual respect. Further research that studies the perceptions of teacher’s strategies for effective co-teaching on a larger scale should be considered.
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