Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Catherine DiMartino

Second Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Third Advisor

Mary Ellen Freeley


English Language Learners (ELLs) in the United States are faced with many academic challenges including those of language acquisition, lack of background knowledge, fear of participation and unknown academic language. These challenges mixed with the ever-growing demands of the educational system, resulted in State and local educational agencies to make a distinct shift away from segregated instructional services for ELLs, by either requiring or recommending integrated co-teaching as an optimal way to educate them. Although a large number of teachers and administrators are unfamiliar with collaborative practices for ELLs, school districts have nonetheless implemented integrated co-teaching models to comply with guidelines. However, the basic establishment of professionals in an assigned classroom does not create a collaborative teaching partnership. The development and success of these partnerships relied on many different factors.

This study explored the development of co-teaching relationships in an elementary public school setting organized to serve ELL students through an integrated model. This study examined the co-teaching relationships between general education (GE) and Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in an elementary school and described how these teachers constructed collective efficacy beliefs that affected the development, implementation, and sustainment of a successful co-teaching relationship.

This research utilized a qualitative case study methodology. Data was collected through focus groups with co-teachers, an interview with administration, observations of collaborative sessions and a review of documents (i.e. lesson plans, school improvement plan). This study provided guidance on how teachers of ELLs construct collective efficacy beliefs that affect the development, implementation and sustainment of a successful integrated co-teaching model. Furthermore, this study provided information for school administrators so that they may recognize key elements and strategies that will guide them in fostering successful co-teaching partnerships amongst their staff. The outcome of this study, identified key elements and strategies to guide administrators and teachers in fostering successful co-teaching relationships that benefit all students.