The Effect of Co-teaching on Academic Achievement of K–2 Students with and without Disabilities in Inclusive and Noninclusive Classrooms

Vincent Edward Castro, Fordham University


This study provided information on the academic effects of the existing co-teaching inclusion-model in a northern public school district in the State of New Jersey, in which students with learning disabilities are included in each grade level from kindergarten to second grade. Specifically, the investigation examined TerraNova test scores for two years for all students who were in inclusive and noninclusive classes, a survey for all co-teaching pairs of teachers and attendance records for the same group of students tested. The study focused on two approaches towards understanding the effects of co-teaching on academic achievement of students. The first approach, a quantitative analysis, reviewing students' TerraNova test score gains and attendance (during their first and second grade); and the second approach, analyzing the results of a survey provided to all pairs of teachers in co-teaching classrooms (from kindergarten to second grade). The two approaches provided the following results: (a) academic performance and attendance of both general-and special-education students in the co-teaching inclusion-model classrooms compared to their peers in the noninclusive classrooms, after one year, is significantly better; (b) there was no significant difference in job satisfaction for teachers placed in the co-teaching inclusion classroom, when compared to their peers, be they either general-or special-education teachers. Overall results of this study support the inclusive co-teaching approach; however, schools and districts can bring about student achievement and sustain that achievement if they are willing to examine their practices and embrace change. Co-teaching is just a part of the collaborative efforts needed in schools to increase instructional options, improve educational programs, increase professional dialogue, reduce stigmatization for students, reduce class size, and provide support to the professionals involved. To ignore this responsibility is to shortchange teachers and, more importantly, students.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Special education|Disability studies

Recommended Citation

Castro, Vincent Edward, "The Effect of Co-teaching on Academic Achievement of K–2 Students with and without Disabilities in Inclusive and Noninclusive Classrooms" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3255067.