FAERMARK-DISSERTATION-2020.pdf (4.96 MB)

Improving Co-Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom through Professional Development for Administrators

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thesis
posted on 01.05.2020, 00:00 by Deborah Lynn Faermark
Administrators who espouse a commitment to inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms can significantly improve inclusion and co-teaching within their schools. Administrators are instrumental in leading schools to effective inclusion and co-teaching practices (Smith & Leonard, 2005). Those who support inclusion and have a “can-do” attitude have shown a higher ability to successfully implement inclusive practices (Huberman et al., 2012; Marks et al., 2014). Teachers feel that for inclusion and co-teaching to be successful, their school leaders must take an active role in the implementation of inclusion (Isherwood & Barger-Anderson, 2008; Waldron et al., 2011). It may not be enough for administrators to provide professional development to teachers to improve their co-teaching practices. Administrators need professional development themselves on the co-teaching process, collaboration skills, and to learn effective inclusive practices to expand their knowledge base on the co-teaching service delivery option (Mackey, 2014). By learning effective inclusive practices, administrators may be in a better position to support the co-teachers. Nevertheless, even knowing that administrative supports can improve inclusion and co-teaching, supports from administrators remains challenging to implement. The purpose of this case study aimed to explore the impact that professional development for administrators had on their ability to support co-teachers in the inclusive co-taught classroom. Two administrators and two co-teaching dyads participated in this study across two secondary schools outside a large metropolitan city in the Midwest. Administrators engaged in semi-structured, professional development sessions, walk-through observations, and collected evidence from the walk-through observations to complete a data collection form. After each walk-through observation, the administrators provided feedback to the co-teacher dyads which helped to understand the impact the professional development had on their ability to provide feedback to the co-teachers. The co-teachers partook in semi-structured interviews, walk-through observations, and feedback sessions from their administrators to help gauge the effect the feedback from the administrator had on their co-teaching practice. Results showed that professional development trainings on co-teaching and inclusive practices had a positive impact on administrators’ ability to provide support co-teachers. Administrators conducted walk-through observations to provide co-teachers with non-evaluative feedback on their co-teaching practices. Evidence showed that by providing co-teachers feedback in tandem was essential to improving co-teaching practices. In addition, the administrators provided positive feedback to the co-teachers that built on the strengths of their current co-teaching practices. This positive feedback revealed that co-teachers felt their confidence improved in their co-teaching practices and validated that they were co-teaching effectively with their co-teaching partner. Findings from this study extend research on co-teaching practices and may have an impact on co-teaching reform.

History

Advisor

Maggin, Daniel

Chair

Maggin, Daniel

Department

Special Education

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Tejero Hughes, Marie Lopez-Reyna , Norma Parker-Katz, Michelle Zeitlin, Virginia

Submitted date

May 2020

Thesis type

application/pdf

Language

en

Exports

Categories

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