Early Career Teachers' Perceptions of their Preparation for and Initial Experiences in Co-Taught Classrooms

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cynthia Thrasher Shamberger (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Marilyn Friend

Abstract: Many general education and special education teachers report being unprepared for the challenges of serving students with disabilities in the general education classroom (Kloo & Zigmond, 2008; Rea & Connell, 2005) and lacking skills necessary for co-teaching and collaborating within the school community (Grant & Gillette, 2006; Little & Theiker, 2009). The purpose of this study was to survey general and special education teachers (N=149), who were recent graduates of one teacher education program in the southeastern Unites States, on their perceptions of the effectiveness of their teacher education program in preparing them to co-teach. Variables included area of certification, years of experience, co-teaching experience and personal demographics along with descriptions of the extent that co-teaching was perceived to have been discussed, modeled, observed, and coached during the teacher education program and later practiced in classroom settings. Most participants were female, taught at the elementary level, held a bachelor's degree, and had three or less years of teaching experience. Results indicated many graduates had some orientation to co-teaching and perceived the teacher education program as relatively effective in preparing them to co-teach. However, data suggests variation in the amount of exposure to co-teaching preparation, field experiences, and subsequent skill attainment for co-teaching across the program. Additionally, implementation of co-teaching practices varied among participants, as did experiences and satisfaction with the co-teaching model. These findings may inform the teacher education program in future decision making to benefit future teacher candidates by providing enhanced course content and field experiences that focus more directly on acquisition of co-teaching knowledge and skills.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Co-Teaching, Collaboration, Inclusive Practices, Teacher Education, Teacher Preparation
Children with disabilities $x Education.
Teachers $x Training of.
Teachers $x Attitudes.
Teaching teams.
Effective teaching.

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