Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Differentiated Instruction

Capstone Instructor

Brian Boothe, Ed. D.

Second Reader

Tosca Grimm, Ed. D.


Co-teaching, Individual Education Plan (IEP), Least restrictive environment, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001


Delivering special education services has evolved as research continues to support the importance of an inclusive classroom. The development of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 required that all students receiving special education have the same access and opportunities to the same high academic standards as students without disadvantaged backgrounds such as race, disability, and socioeconomic status (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). Considering the requirements to keep all students in their natural learning environments as much as possible, innovative ways to meet the individual needs of each student continue to progress. Co-teaching is a service delivery model which includes one general and special education teacher working in unison to deliver core curriculum in the classroom setting. Not only does this service delivery model meet the legally binding requirements of an Individual Education Plan (IEP), but it also honors the least restrictive environment recommendations. While co-teaching sounds appealing to most, there are many components to consider which directly impact the overall success of the teaching model. A multitude of research have analyzed the effectiveness, potential barriers, and overall impact co-teaching has on teaching staff and students. While the research studies painted a picture of what works and what does not work with co-teaching, the direct student impact on academic achievement and behavioral success remains in question. The results suggested when front-end foundational supports are established prior to implementation, co-teaching can have a positive impact on student achievement.

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