Date of Award


Document Type


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Division of Education and Counseling

First Advisor

Renee Akbar

Second Advisor

Rachel Davis-Haley

Third Advisor

Timothy Glaude


co-teaching, inclusion, pedagogy, social development theory (SDT), special education, teacher residency program


The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 in conjunction with Teacher Quality Partnerships requires university-based teacher education programs to develop and sustain highquality teachers (United States Department of Education, 2017). Teaching is a science grounded in a body of literature supported by effective research-based techniques. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine co-teaching influences on the first-year teaching practices of special educators trained in a university-based teacher residency program. Specifically, this study investigated which co-teaching strategies, if any, did special education residents implement as the teacher of record. Through the lens of social development theory, this research explored special education teachers’ perspectives on co-teaching strategies and how those strategies affected their pedagogical approaches as a novice teacher. For this study, coteaching is defined as a partnership between a general education teacher and a special education teacher that includes shared planning, instruction, and assessment of students with and without disabilities (Friend & Cook, 2010). This study involved collecting and analyzing data through questionnaires, interviews, and artifacts. The results of the analysis revealed four themes: constructing relationships, becoming a co-teacher, structural deterrents of co-teaching, and covi teaching according to the students’ needs. The key findings of this study are: it is imperative that trusting relationships are built at the onset of the residents’ experience; residents should seek to understand students’ learning needs before implementing co-teaching strategies; and, the coteaching strategies learned as residents varied from the co-teaching strategies implemented as teachers of record. The study concluded that co-teaching influenced the pedagogical approaches used by the novice teachers to meet the academic needs of all students (not only special education students) in the inclusion classroom.