Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Carleton R. Holt

Committee Member

Ed Bengston

Second Committee Member

Benny L. Gooden

Abstract

This research studies the leadership role in transitioning from a traditional service delivery model to a co-teaching service delivery model for students with disabilities. While there is an abundant amount of information on the service delivery model of co-teaching, sustaining co-teaching programs, and effective co-teaching programs for students with disabilities, the actual studies for the leadership role in transitioning to co-teaching are fewer. This phenomenological case study explores the leadership role in effectively transitioning an urban high school from a traditional service delivery of special education services to a larger continuum of services, specifically co-teaching for students with disabilities. Participants included secondary general education teachers, special education teachers, and administrators for interviews with semi-structured questions. An open-response questionnaire was distributed to senior students in a co-teaching course. The interpretation and analysis of the findings include the discussion of the complexity of the leadership role and the barriers or obstacles that exist as a transition occurs to a co-teaching model of service delivery model for students with disabilities in a secondary school.

The obstacles or barriers that emerge from such a transition can derail the attempt to implement co-teaching as a service delivery model for students with disabilities. The findings of this phenomenological case study offer school leaders an informative roadmap by which to navigate through these potential obstacles or barriers. These findings are an addition to the available literature and contribute by informing educators of the experiences of school personnel and students as this urban secondary school transitioned to co-teaching as a service delivery model for students with disabilities. These experiences and findings should be extrapolated to support other educators as they begin to make this transition.

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