Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca, EdD

Second Supervisor

Donna Riter, EdD


This phenomenological research design examined the implementation of co-teaching in classrooms of diverse learners at the high school level in suburban settings in New York State. Three separate focus groups were attended by 11 high school general education teachers, special education teachers, and building administrators to gather data regarding the participants’ perceptions, practices, and implementation of co-teaching through their lived experiences.

Three findings emerged by analyzing the themes that surfaced from the three separate focus groups in the coding process. First, the importance of comprehending and applying the coteaching framework and the need to focus on the intricacies of co-teaching implementation—not just the six co-teaching models. Second, the significance of alignment of co-teaching assignments and purposeful planning was highlighted to ensure cohesive, effective implementation of the co-teaching framework. Third, additional factors affecting co-teaching implementation in suburban high schools identified the inherent responsibilities in the coteaching framework, especially around implementation and the collective involvement of the general education teachers, special education teachers, and administrators to be adequately supported. This study substantiated that when thoughtfully implemented and supported, coteaching can create an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students—regardless of their abilities.

Recommendations for building and district leaders, superintendents, the NYS Board of Regents, and NYSED leadership included a co-planning structure to facilitate purposeful planning; a systematic, tailored professional learning approach; and an amendment to the NYSED continuum of services. This comprehensive analysis provides valuable insights into the complexities of co-teaching implementation with the co-teaching model at the high school level.

Included in

Education Commons