Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy McCarty

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Larrick

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Enomoto


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative multicase study was to describe and explain how secondary school special education teachers perceived that their special education teacher education programs prepared them to work as part of a coteaching team and how secondary special educators described the benefits and challenges of working as part of a coteaching team and sought secondary special education teachers’ recommendations for how teacher education programs could better prepare candidates to serve as members of a coteaching team.

Methodology: A qualitative multicase study was used. The researcher conducted semistructured, in-depth interviews with 12 secondary-level special education teachers who were coteaching at the time of the study.

Findings: Examination of qualitative led to 4 key findings. (a) Co-teaching benefits students, general education and special education teachers, and the school community; (b) implementation of coteaching requires substantial investment and significant work on the beliefs and skill sets of general education teachers; (c) schools and districts need to restructure and reprioritize their processes to achieve the true benefits of coteaching, including investing in building leadership capacity and allocating resources; and (d) university teacher education programs that do not have an extensive focus on coteaching in spite of their stated coteaching goals fail to develop coteachers.

Conclusions: (a) There are significant benefits to students, special education teachers, and general education teachers when coteaching is implemented with fidelity; (b) more needs to be done to educate general education teachers about the benefits of coteaching to both the students and the teachers involved; (c) schools and districts are not allocating the necessary resources to achieve the true benefits of coteaching; and (d) university teacher education programs are not providing preservice special education teachers with the necessary skills to be effective coteachers.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended about how coteaching benefits students and teachers by examining an exemplary school or districts. Further research is needed regarding how exemplary university programs prepare both special education and general education teachers to work as coteachers.