Graduation Date

12-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

Abstract

Students with special needs often miss out on classroom curricula for specialized instruction. While these services are valued for educational benefits, this instruction method often has negative impacts on social-emotional development and targets students for their differing needs.

Integrated collaborative teaching models include collaborative teaching among general and special educators in an inclusive environment. In this descriptive study, the author examined integrated collaborative teaching as a delivery model to increase responsiveness to the needs of all learners through academic and social inclusion.

This study involved students with a wide range of disabilities from two different grade leveled collaborative classrooms, who were considered academically “at risk” and a sample of general education students who were considered on grade level or above. Each student was supported by an educational team, which included both the general and special educator.

The effectiveness of this process was evaluated through behavioral observations, student reflections, and team interviews. Outcomes suggested that generally, each of the students with disabilities demonstrated increases in academic skills, engagement in classroom activities, social interactions with peers, student-initiated interactions and emotional growth. Outcomes suggested that each of the general education students demonstrated growth in sensitivity, empathy, acceptance of differences, increased cooperative learning, and social benefits. Outcomes suggested a reduction in stigma to students with disabilities. Outcomes suggested the co-teachers benefited from support, expertise of colleagues in specialized areas, and extended differentiated strategies.