Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Virginia Salzer, PhD

Second Advisor

Kate Tresco, PhD

Third Advisor

Stephen Poteau, PhD


Educational legislation mandates that special-needs students should have access to the general education curriculum and be educated within the least restrictive environment. Coteaching (CT) has emerged as a way of educating students with disabilities in least restrictive environments. CT is defined as the “sharing of instruction by a general education teacher and a special education teacher or another specialist in a general education class that includes students with disabilities” (Friend, Cook, Hurley- Chamberlain, & Shamberger, 2010, p. 9). The purpose of this study was to determine if professional development training in a middle school not only changes teachers’ understanding of the basic tenets of CT, but also elevates their confidence levels in providing appropriate accommodations and modifications to students with disabilities. An additional purpose of this study was to measure academic achievement outcomes of students taught in a CT classroom using a standardized formative assessment measure. The study revealed that this small sample of participants held a generally positive attitude toward inclusion and recognized the importance of this instructional approach. Although the change in teachers’ understanding of the basic tenets of CT was not significant, a marginally significant increase in confidence levels was reported. When analyzing the influence of CT on student achievement, no evidence suggested a difference between scores of the intervention group and the control group. Although student achievement was not the primary goal of this study, ideally, evidence-based instructional practices are utilized to increase academic achievement.

Included in

Psychology Commons