Teachers’ perceptions and practices of collaboration between elementary general and special education teachers
Teachers’ perspectives and perceptions of collaboration to support students with special needs were explored in this study. A paper based survey instrument was used to collect data from volunteer teachers working in School District 79 (Cowichan Valley). One hundred thirteen teachers who taught at eight kindergarten to grade seven elementary schools were invited to participate in the study and thirty-three completed the survey. It was hypothesized that teachers would indicate they believed that collaboration was a means of supporting students with special needs and they would also identify barriers to the process. Teachers were also asked to describe their ideal model of collaboration as well as their best experience collaborating with a colleague. The general conclusion of this study was that teachers did indicate positive attitudes towards collaboration as well as providing models of collaboration that exist in this school district. They also identified barriers that inhibit the process in School District 79 (Cowichan Valley) elementary schools. Further research is needed to determine ways to overcome these barriers.
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