Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 651–680 | Cite as

Co-teaching Perspectives from Secondary Science Co-teachers and Their Students with Disabilities

  • Margaret E. King-Sears
  • Anne Eichorn Brawand
  • Melissa C. Jenkins
  • Shantha Preston-Smith


An in-depth case study of one team of co-teachers’ practice from multiple perspectives is described. A high school science co-teaching team and their students with disabilities completed surveys about their perceptions of co-teaching. Additionally, observations of the two co-teachers occurred to determine roles and types of interactions for each co-teacher during science instruction. Observational data revealed effective teaching behaviors demonstrated by each co-teacher. Detailed descriptions of the co-teachers’ instruction are provided. The science educator was observed interacting with the large group twice as often as the special educator. The science educator also presented new content nearly three times as often as the special educator. The co-teacher surveys were consistent with the observational data. Both educators disagreed that the special educator was primarily the lead for instruction. Both educators strongly agreed they had an effective co-teaching relationship, although the science educator indicated stronger agreement for parity in roles and responsibilities than the special educator noted. Forty-three percent of the students identified the science educator as in charge of lessons, while 43% identified both educators. Most students thought teaching was divided in half, and all students enjoyed having two teachers in science. Eighty-six percent of the students indicated team teaching was the most frequently used co-teaching model, and 14% indicated one teach, one drift. Implications for co-teachers’ reflections on their collaboration, including the relevance of student perceptions (i.e., Who is the “real” teacher?), and the extent to which educators are prepared at preservice and inservice levels for co-teaching are discussed.


Science Co-teaching Students with disabilities 


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret E. King-Sears
    • 1
  • Anne Eichorn Brawand
    • 2
  • Melissa C. Jenkins
    • 3
  • Shantha Preston-Smith
    • 4
  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Kutztown UniversityKutztownUSA
  3. 3.Prince William County Public SchoolsManassasUSA
  4. 4.Arlington Public SchoolsArlingtonUSA

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