(Co-teaching Team) Model Co-Teachers' Perceptions of Factors Impacting the Effectiveness of Co-Teaching in the Inclusion Setting within K-12 Schools
The impact of co-teaching in the inclusion setting is essential to improving the academic achievement of students with disabilities. With the emergence of federal and state mandates, standards-based accountability is compelling schools to place students with disabilities in the inclusion setting to receive the same content as their nondisabled peers. This research study aimed to identify the factors impacting the effectiveness of co-teaching in the inclusion setting within K-12 schools. The research questions for this study included: What factors do co-teaching teams identify as essential for effective co-teaching? What factors do co-teachers perceive as obstacles or problems that hinder effective co-teaching? and What administrative support is needed to carry out co-teaching responsibilities effectively? The design methodology for this study was qualitative and consisted of three co-teaching teams in Virginia. Semi-structured interviews with co-teachers from model demonstration sites were used to collect data. Data analysis occurred through hand-coding of the transcribed interview questions. Model co-teaching teams identified twelve factors that impact effective co-teaching, including positive relationships, consistent behavioral expectations, defined roles and responsibilities, pairing, professional development, parity, co-teaching models, administrators' expectations, co-teaching best practices, consistent co-planning time, professional expertise, and building co-teaching capacity. The research should provide practitioners with strategies and approaches for effective co-teaching in the inclusion setting with K-12 schools.