Date Approved

6-1-2016

Embargo Period

6-3-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, Sydney

Second Advisor

Xin, Joy

Subject(s)

Teaching teams; Learning disabled children

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This study examined the effects of professional development in co-teaching to see if it can improve teaching relationships and the classroom achievement of 5th grade students with exceptional learning needs. This study included eight educators with experience levels from two to thirty five years. All of the educators in the study were teachers of students with and without disabilities who worked in co-teaching classrooms in the middle school subject areas of language arts, social studies, math and science. The participants consisted of 6 white females and 2 white males, ages 26-62. There were ten middle school students that also participated in the study. The students were 5th graders ages 10 and 11. Six of the students were boys and four of the students were girls. Five of the students had disabilities and five of them were without disabilities. The disabilities represented in the study have to do with learning disabilities. The disabilities represented are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, autism and reading disability. The students have been placed in a co-teaching environment because it is the least restrictive environment for their learning.

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