Date of Award

Winter 1-5-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Diane Truscott, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Peggy Gallagher, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Judith Emerson, Ph.D.



This explanatory sequential mixed-methods study focused on pre-K co-teachers’ perceptions of co-teaching, the similarities and differences between special and general education co-teachers’ perceptions of co-teaching, and the elements of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977) related to the implementation of the co-teaching model. Analysis of the Perceptions of Co-Teaching Survey (PCTS) completed by 34 pre-K special and general education co-teachers served as the quantitative component of the study and was complemented by a constant comparative analysis (Charmaz, 2006) of focus groups with eight co-teachers.

The integrated findings revealed that both special and general co-teachers had moderately positive perceptions of their co-teaching experiences that were nurtured by their professional interpersonal relationships and influenced by the distinctive nature of pre-K classrooms. High self-efficacy influenced co-teachers’ motivation and confidence in order to persevere during challenges experienced. Overall, co-teachers recognized the importance of effective verbal communication as key to successful co-teaching experiences and desired personalized professional learning opportunities to guide and improve their co-teaching experiences. Implications for administrators, teacher educators, and co-teachers were discussed and recommendations for future research offered.