Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 1

William Rowe

Committee Member 2

Devon Jensen


School administrators are no strangers to challenges, and most readily accept challenges as long as they produce good results for students. For more than three decades, several pieces of major legislation have addressed the mandate for educating students with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE); however, many years later, educators are still arguing as to which is the most effective instructional model, and how different models impact student achievement. Co-teaching is an instructional model that is getting an increased amount of attention from school leaders as they are being held more accountable for the academic achievement of all students. Researchers have agreed that research on the effectiveness of co-teaching is still in its formative years and that quality data on the achievement outcomes for students in co-taught classrooms have been particularly vague. If elementary school leaders are going to continue spending the time, energy, and resources needed to implement co-taught classrooms, more than simply the popular reputation of co-teaching must be provided. Some are even asking, “Co-teaching and student achievement: Where are the data?” In this study, a comparative research design was used to establish that co-teaching did have a positive effect on reading and math achievement; however, when compared to the achievement of the resource taught students, co-taught students did not attain the significant gains in academic growth as attained by the resource taught students. Co-taught students scored slightly lower than the resource taught students in math during the second year of the study. This study provided a foundation of current research upon which studies can build and expand as school leaders continue to strive in making decisions that are best for their students.