Date of Award

Winter 12-19-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Scot Danforth

Second Advisor

Whitney McIntyre-Miller

Third Advisor

Aja McKee


The co-teaching relationship is the foundational structure upon which a co-taught classroom is built. Co-teaching is often defined as a general education teacher and a special education teacher teaching a group of heterogeneous students together. Born from inclusion, co-teaching attempts to reach all learners. With this service delivery model comes challenges and a large learning curve, so a strong foundation is imperative. Literature and educational scholars have expressed that the foundation of co-teaching is the relationship between teachers. Authors in the literature have stressed the importance of the relationship however, little to no research exists studying the dynamics of the co-teaching partnership. Through a phenomenological approach, this study sought to understand the dynamics of the co-teaching partnership between a general education teacher and a special education teacher. Framed with collaborative professionalism and a thorough examination of the working partnership, this study was able to dive deep into the phenomenon of co-teaching, as was experienced by each teacher. By uncovering the authentic experiences of co-teachers, the understanding of the co-teaching partnership increase, and educators and administrators were provided a different frame of understanding for future co-teaching implementation. By studying the co-teaching partnership and the phenomenon of the partnership, an authentic understanding was uncovered. Understanding the authentic experiences of co-teachers allows educators and administrators to better prepare and support the co-teaching practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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