Does co-teaching work? A mixed method case study evaluation of co-teaching as an intervention
Embury Dissertation 5 Table of Contents I.Introduction 10 a.Significance of the Study 11 II.Review of Related Literature 12 a.Inclusion of Students with Disabilities 12 b.Approaches to Co-teaching 14 c.Literature that addresses Implementation 19 d.Literature addressing Perceptions 20 e.Literature addressing Administrator Evaluation 23 f.Literature addressing Effectiveness 24 g.Statement of the problem 27 h.Research Questions 27 III.Methods 27 IV.Results 51 a.Collaborative Assessment Log 51 b.Student Observations 60 c.Teacher Interviews 75 V.Discussion 83 a.Introduction 83 b.Purpose and summary 83 c.Student engagement 84 i.Students without disabilities 85
Embury Dissertation 6 ii.Students with disabilities increase levels of engagement 85 d.Teacher planning makes a difference 86 e.Teacher perception of roles 88 i.Special educator role changes 89 ii.General educator role 90 f.Limitations 93 i.Site selection 93 ii.Inconsistent planning sessions 94 iii.Control and internal validity 94 g.Suggestions for future research 95 i.Identification of site 95 ii.Student product 96 iii.Regular facilitated planning sessions 96 h.Suggestions for practice 96 i.Conclusions 98 VI.Appendices 100 a.Equations used to Calculate Inter-observer Agreement 100 b.Treatment Integrity Sheet 101 c.BEST Coding Manual 102 d.BEST Coding Sheet 112 e.Pre-Study Interview Questions 116 f.Post-Study Interview Questions 117 g.IRB Aproval 118
Embury Dissertation 7 h.Site Approval Letter from District 119 VII.References 120
Embury Dissertation 8 List of Tables Table 1:C4C Training Schedule 30 Table 2: Teacher Participants 33 Table 3:Student Participants 36 Table 4: Mid-point All Classes Reflection 38 Table 5: Co-teaching Examples and Strategies 46 List of Figures Figure 1:Mean Percentages of Preston’s Engagement for All Class Periods 65 Figure 2:Mean Percentages of Preston’s Engagement Across Data Points for OTA, 65 Team and Station Teaching Figure 3:Mean Percentages of Janie’s Engagement for All Class Periods 65 Figure 4:Mean Percentages of Janie’s Engagement Across Data Points for OTA, Team 65 and Station Teaching Figure 5:Mean Percentages of Jason’s Engagement for All Class Periods 68 Figure 6:Mean Percentages of Jason’s Engagement Across Data Points for OTA, 69 Team, Parallel and Station Teaching Figure 7:Mean Percentages of Briana’s Engagement for All Class Periods 68 Figure 8:Mean Percentages of Briana’s Engagement Across Data Points for OTA, 69 Team, Parallel and Station Teaching Figure 9:Mean Percentages of Alison’s Engagement for All Class Periods 74 Figure 10:Mean Percentages of Alison’s Engagement Across Data Points for OTA, 74 Team and Station Teaching Figure 11:Mean Percentages of Chandra’s Engagement for All Class Periods 74
Embury Dissertation 9 Figure 12:Mean Percentages of Chandra’s Engagement Across Data Points 74 for OTA, Team and Station Teaching
Embury Dissertation 10 Does Co-Teaching Work? A Single Subject Case Study Evaluation of Co-Teaching as an Intervention Introduction Since the inception of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) in 1975, the body of knowledge regarding the education of students with disabilities has developed tremendously. Parents, educators, and researchers have seen a growing number of students with disabilities enter the general education classroom. This idea of educating children together was not a novel concept. The Brown vs. board of education case (1954) ended the legal segregation of minority students from their white peers in the school. This landmark case and the civil rights movement that stemmed from it established a road for the disability community to travel. The presence of students with disabilities in the general education classroom has changed from a non- existent role prior to Education of All Handicapped Children Act, to a marginal role in classes such as art and physical education and now to full participation in content classes such as science, reading, language arts, math, and social studies. Currently, more than five million students receive special education support and services in general education classrooms. (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities). The 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments (IDEA) elucidated the regulations for enacting Least Restrictive Environment by clarifying that regardless of disability; all children must first receive consideration for placement in the regular classroom. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 dramatically increased school accountability for the performance of students with disabilities. IDEA (2004) mandated the inclusion of students with disabilities and required access to the general curriculum while meeting the individual development needs of all children. Advocates of students with disabilities
Embury Dissertation 11 have urged the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general curriculum; much of the impetus for co-teaching, a method to support inclusion, can be traced directly to NCLB and its requirements for student performance on mandatory state tests (Cramer & Nevin, 2006). The attempt by schools to implement these laws has resulted in a surge of students with disabilities receiving education in general education classrooms. Students with identified educational disabilities need an individualized education in order to meet students’ specialized educational needs and the mandates of compulsory education and special education law. Is it realistic to expect individualization to be addressed in general education classrooms? Many schools have chosen to work toward inclusivity and individualization through the use of Co-teaching. Co-teaching is, in fact, the most common service delivery model for students with disabilities receiving instruction in the general education classroom (City University of New York, National Center on Educational Restructuring and Inclusion, 1995). Co-teaching is a service delivery model using two teachers, a general education teacher and a special education teacher, to plan, deliver content, and evaluate progress for a diverse group of learners in a single classroom (Cook & Friend, 1995). An effectively implemented co-teaching model is “likely to increase the outcomes for all students in the general education setting, while ensuring that students with disabilities . . . are provided instruction by a content expert” (Murawski & Dieker, 2004, p. 52). A significant body of literature has been developed concerning this service delivery model, however, the bulk of literature regarding co-teaching focuses more on the explaining what it is and how stakeholders perceive it than on the effects of co-teaching on student achievement. Research that does investigate the impact of co-teaching on academic performance yields inconclusive results when evaluated collectively (Murawski & Swanson, 2001). As
Embury Dissertation 12 schools increasingly accede to the trend of implementing co-teaching as a model, this lack of conclusive evidence showing a direct correlation to improved outcomes yields significant reason for concern. In order to contribute to the relatively small body of literature evaluating this model’s effect on student engagement and achievement, this study will specifically investigate the effects of co-teaching as a service delivery model on student engagement in the inclusive middle school classroom. Significance of the Study To address the mandates that have begun to introduce students with disabilities into the classrooms of their natural peers and of general educators (IDEA, NCLB) many schools seek evidence based instructional strategies that meet the needs of students with disabilities in the general education classroom (Weiss & Lloyd, 2002). The significance of researchers investigating the effectiveness of co-teaching is clear. Empirical evidence that substantiates the claims of researchers and other proponents of co-teaching as a service delivery strategy must be sought. Furthermore, the utilization of evidence-based practices in our classrooms today is imperative for best practice and mandated by law (NCLB, 2001). To develop effective co- teaching models it is critical to include evidence-based practices. Implementations of practices that have a proven record of effectiveness are the goal of educators and a requirement of the law (Odom, Brantlinger, Gersten, Horner, Thompson, & Harris, 2005). It is not enough simply to co- teach; co-teaching with scientifically validated instructional practices is required. Translating evidence based practices into daily classroom routines that yield academic gain are a substantial part of a well-implemented co-teaching classroom (Rice & Zigmond, 2000; Walpole, Justice, & Invernizzi, 2004). Many students with disabilities may not be engaged in the general curriculum
Embury Dissertation 13 because practitioners are still learning how to co-teach or do not have a clear understanding of how to use the practice as an instructional model. The cost of student disengagement is substantial, as students with disabilities are more than twice as likely as their peers without disabilities to leave school early (Wilson & Michaels, 2006). Review of Related Literature Co-teaching A popular model for increasing access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities while also providing educational services in heterogeneous classrooms is co-teaching (Friend & Bursuck, 2003; Friend & Cook, 1996, 2003; Lehr, 1999; Murawski & Dieker, 2004; Vaughn, Schumm, & Arguelles, 1997). Co-teaching is a method of teaching that involves two professional educators planning, delivering substantive instruction to, and evaluating the progress of a diverse group of students, including students with disabilities, within a single space—typically a shared classroom (Cook & Friend, 1995). Co-teaching can occur in multiple forms and locations and researchers have identified several models of co-teaching. One of the most well known models of co-teaching was described by Cook and Friend (1995) who delineate six models of co-teaching. They are: One teach/one assisting; One teach/one observe, Station teaching, Parallel teaching, Alternative teaching, and Teaming; and will be discussed in detail below. No particular genre or mode of co-teaching is meant to be used exclusively by a teaching team (Cook &Friend, 1995). Each of these genres has strengths and weaknesses and one genre may work better for a particular lesson than another. Furthermore, teacher familiarity, comfort, and competence in using all of the genres is essential to maintain parity and to ensure that the each teacher uses her or his specific areas of expertise in order to meet the needs of the individual students (Dieker & Little, 2005).
Embury Dissertation 14 One Teaching, One Assisting In this type of co-teaching, both educators are present, but one takes the lead while the other teacher moves about the room assisting them as needed support (Cook & Friend, 1995). This approach requires little planning and allows one teacher to provide individual support as needed for students. However, this model does not encourage teacher parity and could force one teacher into the role of an aid (Friend & Cook, 2003; Vaughn, Schumm, & Arguelles, 1997; Weiss & Lloyd, 2002). This problem could be overcome if teachers alternate roles between lead and support (1995). One teach/one observe This type of co-teaching appears similar to the one teach/one assist model in that one teacher takes the role of a lead teacher. The second teacher then engages in a detailed observation of the students or teacher and actively collects data. This approach requires teachers to plan in advance what type of data needs to be collected, how to gather the data, and how the data will be analyzed and used by both teachers (Cook &Friend, 1995). Station Teaching Station teaching allows teachers to divide instructional content into two, three, or more segments and present that content at different locations in the classroom support (Cook & Friend, 1995). Two teachers may divide content into two stations and teach half of the material to half of the class and then trade and repeat the instruction with new students. Teachers may also choose to add a third independent station where students may work independently or with a partner. Station teaching requires teachers to share responsibility for planning and content delivery.
Embury Dissertation 15 Station teaching may help new co-teacher feel more comfortable, students may benefit from the lower student-teacher ratio, and the integration of students with disabilities. Station teaching is appropriate for all grade levels. Moreover, equal teacher status in the classroom is not a serious concern because both teachers have active teaching roles. Challenges to station teaching include increased noise and activity level as well as maintaining the pace of the lesson to match the other teacher for transitions (1995). Parallel Teaching Parallel teaching involves each teacher delivering instruction to a heterogeneous group made up of half of the class support (Cook & Friend, 1995). Parallel teaching lowers the student-teacher ratio and may be used when students would benefit from hands-on activities, peer interaction, or responding aloud. Co-teachers plan instruction jointly, but deliver the lesson independent of the other teacher. Considerable planning may be needed to ensure that both groups of students receive the same instruction in the same amount of time. Similar to station teaching approaches, noise and activity levels may be problematic (1995). Alternative Teaching Alternative teaching allows one teacher to work with a small group of students (e.g., 3-8 students) while the other teaches the large group support (Cook & Friend, 1995). Students with disabilities may benefit from this approach more than the station or parallel teaching approaches. Alternative teaching may be used for enrichment interest groups, and assessments as well as pre- teaching and re-teaching. Alternative teaching does risk stigmatizing students those students grouped for re-teaching often; but the risk can be reduced by varying groupings (1995).
Embury Dissertation 16 Teaming Team teaching allows both teachers to share the planning and instruction of students support (Cook & Friend, 1995). Teachers may role-play, take turns leading discussion, demonstrate a concept while the other teacher speaks, or model note-taking or other skills. While many veteran co-teachers find this type of teaching effective and rewarding, some teachers are not comfortable with it. Team teaching requires mutual commitment, trust, and communication (1995). Other theoretical models for co-teaching Although Friend and Cook’s model for co-teaching may be one of the most well-known, other theoretical models have been developed. While Vaughn, Schumm, and Arguelles (1997) used Friend and Cook’s parallel, station, and team teaching models, they also expanded the role of the special education teacher in the one teach/one assist model. In this model, the teacher in the assist role provides brief one-on-one, pair, or small group instruction for brief periods while the other teacher leads class (Vaughn, Schumm, & Arguelles, 1997; Volonino & Zigmond, 2007). The Collaborative Instruction Model (CI Model) designed by Boudah, Schumacher, and Deshler (1997) requires two teachers, one general education teacher and one special education teacher. The two teachers assume specific roles as presenter and mediator. The presenter presents content information in subject areas during whole group instruction while the mediator adapts the content and instruction making it more accessible, teaches students to master content and completes tasks (Boudah, Schumacher, & Deshler, 1997).The teachers’ roles should “criss- cross” during the lesson allowing teachers to engage in instruction and complement one another (Boudah, Schumacher & Deshler, 1997).
Embury Dissertation 17 Another adaptation to Cook and Friend’s model for co-teaching is illustrated by the model by Walther-Thomas, Korinek, McLaughlin, & Williams. (2000). Walther-Thomas and colleagues continue to advocate for the use of parallel teaching, station teaching and alternative teaching; but replace the one teach/one assist model with what they denominate interactive teaching (2000). Interactive teaching differs from the one-teach/one assist model in that it requires the general and special educator to alternate as lead teacher every five to ten minutes (Walther-Thomas,et al., 2000). Kloo and Zigmond redefined when and how to use these commonly accepted models (2008). Uncharacteristic of the other theoretical models and guides to co-teaching, Kloo and Zigmond designate the specific instances of use of the models and clearly delineate the role of the special education teacher (2008). They suggest that in reading or math classes that co- teachers focus on using parallel, station, or alternative teaching; and in other content classes (social studies, science, literature, etc.) the co-teachers should focus on SUPPORTing the general education teacher (Kloo & Zigmond, 2008). SUPPORT is the mnemonic device that explains the role of the special education teacher as one of studying the content, understanding the big ideas, prioritizing course objectives, planning with the general education teacher, observing the students in class as they listen to instruction, rephrasing, repeating, and redirecting, and teaching the co-teacher to do all of this independently (Kloo & Zigmond, 2008). This strategy requires co- teachers to evaluate the needs of students and provide more intensive instruction in skills classes and appears to contradict at least a portion of the accepted literature on how and when to use co- teaching. Kloo and Zigmond suggest that co-teaching should move away from defining the role of the co-teachers as team teachers that deliver the content and instruction simultaneously
Embury Dissertation 18 (2008). While this model gives more explicit instruction for special education teachers, research on teacher parity using this model will be significant for this plan for co-teaching. Research regarding Co-teaching A review of the literature regarding co-teaching yielded four themes. A substantial amount of literature addresses the subject of co-teaching and how to implement it (Bouck, 2007; Cook & Friend, 1995; Dieker, 2001; Morocco & Aguilar, 2002; Murawski, 2008). This literature focuses on how teachers could or should use co-teaching in the classroom as well as the necessary traits and supports needed from co-teachers and administrators for a successful implementation of co-teaching. Another portion of the literature addresses perceptions or beliefs concerning co-teaching (Pugach & Wesson, 1995; Dyches,et al., 1996; Trent, 1998; Austin, 2001; 2004; Wilson & Michaels, 2006; Harbort, Gunter, Hull, Brown, Venn, Wiley, & Wiley, 2007). This body of research addresses perceptions, behaviors, and experiences of the stakeholders in co-taught classrooms. Literature addressing how administrators can and should evaluate co-teaching and co-teachers is important, but also limited (Gately & Gately, 2001; Salisbury & McGregor, 2002). The fourth theme noted in this literature review is that of the efficacy of co-teaching. Literature evaluating the effectiveness of co-teaching has yielded mixed results (Weiss & Brigham, 2000; Murawski & Swanson, 2001; Wilson & Michaels, 2006) and leaves considerable room further research. The following review will address these areas. The literature review will establish context and illustrate the need for research that will evaluate the effectiveness of co-teaching. Literature that addresses Implementation A significant portion of the literature dealing with co-teaching sets out to define co- teaching for teachers and administrators and explain how to implement co-teaching in
Embury Dissertation 19 classrooms. In evaluating this large group of what could almost be called manuals for co- teaching, it is evident that the authors generally agree on definitions of co-teaching and have a shared recognition of the various models for co-teaching. Most of the published literature on co- teaching addresses the general themes and ideas that co-teaching requires willing partners with shared belief systems, administrative support, significant communication and planning between co-teachers, the need for parity between the teachers, and an understanding of different strategies co-teachers can use in implementation (Bauwens, Hourcade, & Friend, 1989; Reeve & Hallahan, 1994; Vaughn, Schumm, & Arguelles, 1997; Walther-Thomas, Korinek, McLaughlin, & Williams, 2000; Gately & Gately, 2001; Friend & Cook, 2003). In a study examining co-teacher behavior, Harbort and colleagues,found that teachers engaged in co-teaching did not necessarily utilize the multiple models of co-teachers nor did their roles vary significantly (2007). Harbort and colleagues observed that special educators presented material less than 1% of the time and observed or drifted 45.24% of the time (2007). Despite the plethora of literature available regarding the various models of co-teaching and manuals for implementing those models in classrooms, tasks and roles of the teachers remain disappointingly static. Literature that addresses Perceptions Another theme addressed in the literature related to co-teaching involves examining perceptions of co-teaching from the perspective of various stakeholders (Pugach & Wesson, 1995; Klinger, 1999; Tichenor, Heins, & Piechura-Couture, 2000; Austin, 2001; Keefe & Moore, 2004; Peck, et al., 2004; Wilson & Michaels, 2006). Through surveys, interviews, and self- reporting questionnaires authors attempt to report how students, parents, and educators feel or think about co-teaching.
Embury Dissertation 20 Just as the literature regarding co-teaching efficacy yields mixed results, so too do the studies regarding teacher perceptions of co-teaching. While Austin and Keefe and Moore found that co-teachers believed co-teaching to be an effective model for reaching all students, other prominent researchers found conflicting results (Boudah, et al., 1997; D’Alonzo, Giordano, & VanLeuwen, 1997; Zigmond, Fulmer, Volonino, Woolery, & Bean; 1993). Through a positive co-teacher relationship, benefits for teachers can include professional development, community, support with adaptations and behavior management for general educators, increased content knowledge for special educators, and co-teaching is generally viewed as a worthwhile professional experience (Walther-Thomas, 1997; Austin, 2001, Keefe & Moore, 2004; Trimmer, 2006). In Bean’s study, teachers reported an increased knowledge of instructional skills and strategies that they could use in both co-taught classes and solo classes that they attributed directly to the experience of co-teaching (2006). Examining student drawings of co-teachers and co-taught classrooms and using that discussion as a springboard for co-teachers to discuss potential changes to instructional practices and procedures, Bessette found that teacher parity, support structures, and trust between teachers continue to be prominent among concerns for co- teachers (2008). While teachers often report that the lack of a team-planning period is a barrier to co-teaching (Bean, 2006), co-teachers that actually met daily disagreed about the effectiveness of common planning (Austin, 2001). Adequate training on how to collaborate may be seen by some teachers as a concern. Teacher feelings of efficacy in co-teaching impact their perceptions of co-teaching and those teachers who perceived themselves as having low efficacy had more negative perceptions of co- teaching (Freytag, 2003 as cited in Bean, 2006). To address this need, some researchers call for more collaborative training for pre-service teachers (Keefe & Moore, 2004; Tichenor, Heins, &
Embury Dissertation 21 Piechura-Couture, 2000). However, Austin’s study revealed that less than half of general educators felt that this type of coursework was useful (2001). Literature addressing parent perceptions of co-teaching is minimal, but generally positive. Peck and colleagues report that parents of children without disabilities generally feel good about their children learning in an inclusive classroom and in a 1999 study, Gerber and Popp reported parents of children receiving instruction in co-taught classrooms gained improved self-esteem. Parents of children with disabilities stated that they thought their children performed better in co- taught classes (Gerber & Popp, 1999). Parents of students without disabilities reported improved self esteem, improved learning due to lower student to teacher ratios, additional one on one support, and increased acceptance of others’ differences (Tichenor, Heins, & Piechura-Couture, 2000). In this same study, parents of children with disabilities reported better preparation for real-life situations, improved academic outcomes, and enhanced social skills (2000). There is a paucity of research on student perceptions of co-teaching available as well. Educational research addressing student perceptions has focused on routines and procedures (Klinger, 1999; Lloyd, 1995), placement (Whinnery, 1995), individualization of homework and adaptations (Bryan & Nelson, 1994; Fulk & Smith, 1995; Lloyd, 1995), and grading practices (Bursuck, Munk, & Olson, 1998). In an examination of secondary students’ perceptions of co- teaching in a literacy class, Wilson and Michaels found that students thought they received more help, had more access to diverse instructional practices, and had more skills and better grades in their co-taught literacy class (2006). Pugach and Wesson found that elementary and middle grade students, including students with learning disabilities who had previously received instruction in a resource room setting, also believed that they performed better in co-taught classes (1995). Most students in co-taught classrooms have a positive perception of the climate of co-taught
Embury Dissertation 22 classrooms and have no negative perceptions of adaptations or accommodations provided to students with disabilities (Klinger, 1999; Pugach & Wesson, 1995). The lack of parity between co-teachers, a concern for the teachers, is evident to students who designate the special educator as a “helper” (Pugach & Wesson, 1995, p.288) and note the disparity in classroom authority (Bessette, 2008). Student perceptions may be viewed as an important resource for teachers (Keefe, Moore, & Duff, 2004; Klinger &Vaughn, 1999; Kortering &Braziel, 2002; Bessette, 2008) and those perceptions may affect motivation and success (Wilson &Michaels, 2006). Literature that addresses how administrators can evaluate Co-Teaching How to evaluate co-teaching can a problem for administrators particularly if co-teaching is new to the repertoire of teachers in her building. The administrator may not have experience with why, how, or when to use to use co-teaching and few guidelines or research addresses supervision of co-teachers and co-teaching (Wilson, 2005). The eighth component of Gately and Gately’s Eight Components of a Co-teaching Relationship is assessment (2001) and they suggest the use of their Co-teacher Rating Scale (CTRS) in addition to observations as a means to evaluate co-teaching. Using the CTRS may still leave questions about whether or not co-teachers are co-teaching effectively. Some of the questions would not be answerable through an observation (ex. Teachers agree on the goals of the co-taught lesson; Goals and objectives of the IEP are considered as part of the grading for students with special needs) (Gately, 2005). The need for an observational tool that can be used by an administrator or supervisor is significant and is addressed by Gately in her discussion of the four phases of co-teaching (2005). An understanding of what makes a good lesson is foundational for assessing co-teaching, but unique to observations of co-taught classes are understandings of the roles of teachers, instructional strategies, and assessment processes (Gately, 2005). Considering these components, Wilson
Embury Dissertation 23 suggests ideas for an observational tool that addresses all three of the unique differences in addition to pre-observation conferences (Gately, 2005) and is working on a companion guide to the tool to address stakeholders specific requests for a “streamlined guide” with clarification of roles, strategies, examples of modifications, and assessments to be used in the classroom by the teachers (Gately, 2005, p.274). The Co-Teacher Relationship Scale developed and field tested by Noonan et al. (2003) and the Are We Really Co-Teachers Scale developed by Villa, Thousand, and Nevin (2004) were compared and evaluated by Cramer and Nevin (2006), and discussed encouraging results; but both survey instruments deal mainly with beliefs and approaches to teaching, personal characteristics, and attitudes and actions of teachers in implementing co- teaching. The literature addressing how an administrator ought to evaluate co-teaching focuses mainly on teacher beliefs about co-teaching the teachers’ perceptions of parity and value in the classroom without significantly addressing evidence based practices or effective co-teaching strategies. Little exists in the way of suggestions for empirical evaluation of co-teaching. Harbort, Gunter, Hull, Brown, Venn, Wiley, and Wiley’s observation coding form used for evaluating co-teacher behavior (2007) might be a good place to start with the addition of a rubric for evaluating the behaviors in terms of effective or ineffective co-teaching. Literature that addresses the Effectiveness of Co-teaching That there is little literature to address outcomes for students or instructional validity yields surprise and concern (Volonino & Zigmond, 2007) considering the popularity of co- teaching as model for teaching all students in general classrooms. In a review of co-teaching literature published within the last 20 years in refereed journals, Zigmond points out that that “only four articles were found in which the effectiveness of co-teaching was measured empirically and compared statistically with a control condition” (Zigmond, 2001, p.3) and the