The Power of 2: A Study of Co-Teaching in a Secondary School
Co-teaching originated in the 1960’s, when it was popularized as an example of progressive education. Progressivism mandates that schools should be "child-centered" with the curriculum and instruction tailored to facilitate the development of the individual, based on scientific methodology. John Dewey was instrumental in advancing the merits of a progressive education and co-teaching is just one tenet utilized to advance his theories for development and learning. Due to the ever-changing nature of education in an increasingly more diverse society, modified forms of instruction, such as co-teaching, are becoming more widely utilized in the effort to increase the effectiveness of educating America’s youth. Federal legislative changes, such as those required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have focused attention on students with increasingly diverse learning characteristics and the expectations that they perform at the same level as those deemed as being “normal” learners. Couple this with the declination of new teachers to replace those approaching retirement and it is no surprise that drastic measures must be taken to address the special needs of students and teacher attrition, if educators are to even hope to achieve the lofty goals set by federal and state governments. This dissertation serves to highlight the attributes of co-teaching in serving a more diverse student population, as well as amplifying some ancillary benefits in possibly slowly first-year teacher attrition, thus narrowing the chasm between those teachers slated for retirement and the influx of new teachers to replace them.