Publication Date

Summer 2017

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Multicategorical Special Education

First Advisor

Philip Boudreau, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Donald Culverson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Susan Gaffney, Ph.D.


With the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1990 and again in 2004 Congress stated that students with special needs were to be educated in the least restrictive environment to the greatest extent possible. In order to meet the federal mandate many districts used co-teaching as a service delivery option for special needs students who are in a general education classroom. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of co-teaching on academic growth, particularly for students with an Individualized Education Plan. When reviewing the literature it was found that co-teaching has been studied and analyzed although primarily from the perspective of the teacher. Friend (2014) has identified six methods of coteaching and has determined the effectiveness for each method. Many other studies have been conducted that focus on teacher perspective, opinion, methods and relationships with very little focus on the effect on student academic achievement. Results from the study determined that coteaching was effective for student academic growth. The study showed that this was true not only for students with an Individualized Education Plan but for general education students in those classes as well. Further research needs to be conducted to determine if the successful student academic growth discovered in this study is something that holds true across the nation.


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