Co-teaching is defined as “a service delivery model using two teachers, a general education teacher and a special education teacher, to plan, deliver content, and evaluate progress for a diverse group of learners in a single classroom” (Cook &Friend, 1995). Co-teaching is a method that involves both, a general education and regular education teacher planning, delivering the instruction, and evaluating student progress (Cook & Friend, 1995). Solo teaching is defined as one qualified teacher plans, teaches, and improves student education and learning (Cook & Friend, 2004). The problem I identified at the beginning of my research was that (at my school) co-teaching ended when students entered middle school. 2nd-5th grade received co-teachers in their core classes: math, science, reading and social studies. Once they hit sixth grade, it was one teacher per subject (except P.E.). However, standardized testing was harder and meant a bit more as far as being able to pass on to the next grade level. Students who were accepted into the school at these grade levels were added to classes also. Currently, each middle school grade level has four sections. Each section contains anywhere between 26-32 students. Elementary school has two-four sections, depending on how many students are in the grade. Each section contains anywhere between 18-25 students. I began noticing the smaller classrooms and two teachers and began wondering why, when students began their middle school career, classes increased in size and decreased in teacher power. My main research question was whether or not co-teaching in middle school is an efficient way to continue classroom management and increase standardized test scores, as well as quarterly subject scores.
Statement of Research Question
While coming up with this process to identify the results of co-teaching in specific ways, I was able to identify several questions, including the following:
o How does class size affect classroom management?
o Do students in one teacher classrooms (coming from a co-teaching environment) like or dislike only have one teacher?
o Do teachers prefer working solo or with another teacher in the classroom?
o Were overall quarterly grades higher in single or co-teaching environments?
o Were standardized testing results higher in single or co-teaching environments?
o Is classroom management more effective in a co-teaching environment?
o Regarding classroom management: how many times in each type of environment, both single and co-teaching, per 45 minute class period were students reprimanded for their behavior?
o How much time during a 45 minute class period was used to reprimand students that took away from constructive classroom learning?
o In a single teacher environment, how often were students off task?
o In a co-teaching environment, how often were students off task?
Utilizing these questions, I was able to come up with two separate interviews (one for teachers and one for students)...