Author(s)

Marnee Sirolli

Date Approved

9-14-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S Jay

Subject(s)

Teaching teams;Inclusive education

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

The purpose of this action research project was to change the current implementation of inclusion and co-teaching in the secondary grades at one school in southern New Jersey. Through professional development, establishing core communication strategies, and the development of a common lesson plan template for each teaching partner, teachers were provided with the opportunity to use survey data and participatory action research to develop a new model for inclusive co-teaching that integrated best practices and established cohesion and clarity among co-teaching partners. The data were collected through surveys, interviews, observations, discussions, and reflective journals. The first conclusion was that teacher's negative perceptions of co-teaching did not deter them from wanting to try to work collaboratively in co-teaching partnership. The second conclusion was that teachers needed to learn about best practices models through in-service training in order to be able to implement them effectively. The third conclusion was that establishing a protocol for effective communication is a necessary step in establishing effective co-teaching partnerships. The fourth conclusion was that the researcher's leadership style had a positive effect on the core study group's ability to affect change of the inclusive co-teaching model in a secondary school. Overall, this study uncovered inaccurate teacher perceptions of co-teaching partners, the need for administrative support and professional development for co-teaching partner to become and remain effective pairs, and a strong need to develop and maintain effective communication within the co-teaching partnerships. Included in the implications of this study was a need for co-teaching partners in secondary schools to generalize lesson planning procedures in order to utilize common planning time more effectively and efficiently.

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