An Investigation into the Processes of Developing Positive Long-Term Co-Teaching Partnerships




Bafaro, Elaina R.

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This study used a qualitative research design in the form of the semi-structured interview process to investigate the shared processes that long-term middle school co-teaching teams identify going through and continuing to go through as a means of developing, sustaining and advancing their co-teaching professional partnerships. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine co-teachers on an individual basis, separate of their co-teaching partners. The results of the interviews were analyzed in order to determine if there were any significant features, characteristics, skills, or procedures that these co-teachers developed as a result of their long-term co-teaching partnerships. The major findings of this study are: (1) the features that facilitate a strong co-teaching foundation; (2) the role of special education teachers in the co-teaching partnership; (3) the shared professional values of co-teachers; (4) feelings of preparedness for co-teaching; (5) perceptions of co-teaching; (6) the features that developed from long-term co-teaching partnerships; and (7) shared professional benefits. This study revealed that when teachers are prepared for their roles and responsibilities as co-teachers they embrace their co-teaching partnerships with the drive to make it work. Additionally, long-term co-teaching partnerships resulted with the development of effective co-teaching practices that were inclusive of both teachers’ professional expertise.



Education, Special education, Teacher education, Cooperative teaching, Middle School, Professional Partnerships, Team Teaching