The process of co-teaching: experiences of elementary educators
The purpose of this phenomenological study is to describe the lived experiences of educators at the elementary level who use co-teaching in their practice. Research has shown that educators from around the world have both successes and challenges when using co-teaching in their practice; however the experiences of educators from British Columbia (BC) are missing from the current knowledge base. Therefore, participants from a BC school district were selected to answer the following question: What can educators working in inclusive settings tell us about their experiences regarding the process of being a co-teacher at the elementary level? The answer to this question will inform the practice of the researcher as well as other teachers trying to use co-teaching in their practice. Data was collected from five participants using face-to-face interviews. The analysis and interpretation of the data followed the phenomenological procedures as outlined by Moustakas (1994). Four themes emerged from the data that highlighted what is involved in the process of being a co-teacher: The need for an understanding and appreciation of co-teaching, the need to achieve a successful partnership, the steps involved in implementing co-teaching, and having a rationale for using co-teaching.