Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

McIntyre, D. John


AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Linda Elaine Buerck, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction, presented on November 12, 2009, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: EFFECTS OF ENROLLMENT IN CO-TEACHING CLASSES ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITHOUT DISABILITIES MAJOR PROFESSOR: D. John McIntyre, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.D., University of Syracuse This study examined the impact of enrollment in co-teaching classes on the grades earned by high school students without disabilities. The study also included analyses of teacher responses to a survey regarding their experience with the co-teaching model at the school. The study sought to examine (1) the extent to which enrollment in co-teaching classes affects academic achievement of regular education students; (2) the attributes of co-teaching classrooms that may have an effect on the academic performance of all students; and (3) the similarities and differences in opinion of regular education teachers and special education teachers regarding the co-teaching model. Student grades were analyzed using descriptive statistical procedures. Thirty-eight classes were eligible for the study. A total of 719 semester grades were recorded, representing 441 students. Two hundred thirteen of the students were enrolled in more than one of the classes in the study concurrently. A subset of data was produced using only the grades earned by the 124 students who were enrolled in at least one regular education class and at least one co-teaching class in the same semester. The dependent variable was course grades. The primary independent variable was the type of class--regular education or co-teaching. Other independent variables included course content (Communication Arts, Mathematics, Science or Social Studies), grade in school (9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th), and achievement level. Student achievement levels were classified as low (0.00-4.99), average (5.0-7.99), or high (8.0-11.0) based on overall grade point averages. Paired samples t-tests demonstrated significant difference between grades earned in co-teaching classes and grades earned in regular classes. Student grades in all three achievement levels were higher in co-teaching classes than in regular education classes. A Cohen's d coefficient was generated to determine the effect size of the differences between teaching models. A medium effect size was detected for grades earned in co-teaching classes for students in the high and average achievement levels. There was a large effect size for grades earned in co-teaching classes for students in the low achievement category. Teacher responses to a survey constructed solely for use in this study were analyzed using inductive analysis. Ten regular education teachers and seven special educators responded to the survey (response rate of 77% for all teachers.) The three themes that emerged from all teachers were the need for common planning time, the need for quality professional development and training activities, and the need to clearly define the roles of each co-teacher in the pair. Responses to selected questions were also analyzed by directly comparing the responses given by the 13 pairs of teachers who were assigned to the same co-teaching class. There were significant differences in perceived roles between the pairs of teachers.




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