Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the perceptions of co-teachers concerning their professional development needs for co-teaching and to determine the level of training they received to prepare them for co-teaching. Sixty-one co-teachers (general education teachers: n=36, 59%; special education teachers: n=25, 41%) in the state of Kentucky completed the Professional Development for Co-teaching Survey for Teachers (PDCST). Survey data demonstrated mean ratings for 14 content-related items ranging from 5.57 to 7.31 indicating teachers generally perceived all were important to their professional development. The items identified as the most critical content were: co-teaching strategies that allow both co-teachers to play active instructional roles, strategies for sharing roles and responsibilities among co-teachers, strategies for building and sustaining co-teaching partnerships, and co-teaching formats. Teachers also identified content area training and planning for co-teaching in open ended queries. Second, co-teachers prioritized content, formats, and follow-up activities for professional development. Top content priorities included strategies for building and sustaining co-teaching partnerships, co-teaching formats, and strategies for sharing roles and responsibilities. Participants identified single day workshops, multiple day workshops, and professional learning communities as their top professional development formats. Top follow-up activities were observing experienced co-teachers, additional professional development, and mentoring from an experienced co-teacher or co-teaching team. Co-teachers validated suggestions on professional development for co-teaching. The items with the highest validation included: train co-teachers prior to co-teaching, train co-teachers with their co-teaching partners, and provide three to five days of preparation for co-teachers. Additionally, the following suggestions were made: include planning time during and after training, provide opportunities for practice and feedback during and after training, and provide opportunities for teachers to observe model co-teaching teams. Lastly, nearly half the co-teachers (n=28, 46.7%) reported receiving no professional development for co-teaching. Sixteen teachers (26.2%) reported between one to six hours of training, while seven (11.5%) reported having between seven to 12 hours. The results may be used to guide professional developers and teacher educators in preparing future and current co-teachers. Additionally, recommendations for training, policy, and future research are provided.
This dissertation is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.