Graduation Date

5-2021

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Education

Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Second Reader

Rosemarie Micheals, EdD

Abstract

Classroom teachers and resource specialists face hectic schedules that include supporting students and meeting the core curriculum standards. In order to support students with disabilities in the classroom, collaboration between classroom teachers and resource specialists is essential. With busy schedules and increasing demands that teachers face, there is an urgent need to support teachers with effective systems of collaboration. This research focuses on the problem of unorganized and ineffective systems of support, which teachers face when trying to collaborate and communicate with their colleagues. While many prior studies address the significance of providing time for educators to collaborate in the work day, as well as addressing key components of support such as communication and teacher relationships, this study builds on prior research by considering how systems of support such as technology and administrators can be efficient for teacher collaboration when routines are organized. This research utilized a mixed methods approach, including open-ended interviews, survey data, and classroom observations. The results of this study reveal that collaboration is most effective when there is a sense of unity and relationship amongst teachers and when administrators model effective collaborative practices. These systems of collaboration and unity are brought together by the use of technology. Technology is most efficient when all the teachers in the community utilize the same platform. The findings of this study demonstrates the importance of effective collaboration practices between classroom teachers and resource specialists in order to better support students with special needs. Through having professional relationships within the learning community, teachers feel supported and equipped to support all students in their classrooms.

IRB Number

10913

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