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EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

A Case Study on the Effects of Teaching Models in Inclusive Secondary Chemistry Classrooms
in a Semi-Rural East Texas City
by

Courtney Gallegly, B.S.

A Proposal Presented in Partial Fulfillment


of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Education

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

June 2016

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

2
Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Page

Introduction

Purpose of Study

Justification of Study

Theoretical Model

Research Questions

Limitations

Definitions of Terms

Chapter 2
Literature Review

Inclusion

Co-teaching Model

10

Inquiry Based Learning

11

Conclusion

12

Chapter 3
Introduction

14

Research Design

14

Setting and Participants

14

Procedural Details

15

Validity and Reliability

16

Data Analysis

16

Conclusion

16

References

17

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Chapter 1

Introduction
Riordan said, Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone
gets what they need. (Riordan, 2015) Apply this to special education and inclusion classrooms
and things get difficult. Every student, not just those with special needs or learning disabilities,
needs something different in order to succeed. A fundamental social justice issue worldwide is
how to meet the need of all learners, especially those with special needs who historically have
faced discrimination, exclusion, and oppression due to special needs. (McGinnis, 2013, p.43)
This contention has culminated in the United States through educational laws: Individuals with
Disabilities Act (IDEA), No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and Every Student Succeeds Act
(ESSA) enacted in 2015. This has manifested in the inclusion of special education students into
general education classes. In theory this appears to be an advantageous aim, however as I have
experienced this year, it is a difficult task to accomplish. Teachers are not equipped with the
skillset or training that is necessary to successfully teach students with disabilities, which leads
to those with disabilities falling behind in course and ultimately failing the course altogether.
Purpose of Study
With the breadth of needs in an inclusion classroom the question of the minds of general
education teachers is what strategies can we implement in order to meet all of those needs and
effectively teach all students. The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of inclusion
practices in general education class; this will be done by looking at two specific strategies: the
co-teaching and inquiry-based learning models. It will shed light as to whether of not these
practices are effective for teaching students at the high school chemistry level or if new and

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

different strategies need to be implemented. It is important to know which teaching strategies


work and how to implement them in the classroom in order for all of the students to succeed.
Justification of Study
In the state of Texas, in order to graduate, students are required to take three to four
sciences, and two of those sciences must be Biology and Chemistry. These are not easy courses
to take; they require a scientific knowledge base as well as the ability to read and preform
mathematical skills. Students that are identified as special needs students or students with
learning disabilities often have difficulties in these classes stemming from their lack of ability in
reading and mathematics.
The challenge is to provide instruction that is up to state standards while also providing
as much scaffolding as is needed for the students to succeed. The models that will be looked at in
this paper, according to research, have proven effective in other types classrooms in the recent
past.
Theoretical Model
The theoretical models for this study are inclusion theory and inquiry-based learning
model. Inclusion requires that special education students are integrated in general education
classes so that all students learn together and have the same learning opportunities given them.
(Brigham, 2011)
The inquiry-based learning model is based off the understanding that we, as humans, are
naturally inquisitive individuals who learn through seeking out information. Through this model

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

students actively seek out information, asking questions and doing activities designed to make
them think about things other than the basic surface level information. (Kuklthau, 2007)
Research Questions
1. How do different inclusive teaching models affect students with special needs and/or
learning disabilities?
2. How do these inclusive models affect general education students?
Limitations
There are several limitations that must be considered in this study. The first is that there
will be two classrooms studied, with two sets of students. One class will have used the co-teacher
model, while the other used the inquiry-based leaning model. Another is teacher training and
efficacy in these models. In a study done by Umesh Sharma, it was found that teachers
perceived efficacy influences what is done in a classroom, so a teacher who was not trained in
these practices will have a low efficacy and will potentially not implement it well in the
classroom. In addition there may be more than one model implemented which could invalidate
results.
Definitions of Terms
504
Section 594 is federal civil rights law under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It
provides protection against discrimination for individuals with disabilities. The law and
regulations prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability form all school programs and

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

activities in both public and private schools receiving direct or indirect federal funding. (U.S.
Department of Education, 2010)
Co-teaching model
Co-teaching is defined as an instructional context in which a general and a special
education teacher both provide academic instruction within an inclusive classroom setting,
sharing instruction responsibility. (Thornton, 2015)
Inclusion
Inclusion is the culmination of NCLB and IDEA, which brings students with all
kinds of disabilities into general education classrooms to meet those curriculum requirements.
(Brigham, 2011)
Inquiry-based learning
Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning where students find and use a
variety of sources of information and ideas to increase their understanding of a problem, topic or
issue of concern. It requires investigation, exploration, search, quest, research, pursuit and study
and is done so in a community of learners. (Kuklthau, 2007)
Learning disability
This term applies when a child has a disorder in one or more of the basic
psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written,
which may manifest itself in an inability to listen, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical
calculations. This term includes the conditions of perceptual handicaps, brain injuries, minimal
brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. It does not apply to disabilities that are

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

the primary result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, or mental retardation, or emotional
disturbance, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (Lyon, 2001)
Special Education
Special education is specially designed where instruction is adapted to the
appropriate needs of the child through means of content, methodology, or delivery of instruction.
This ensures that child access to general education so that the child can meet the educational
standards within the jurisdiction of the pubic agency that apply to all children. (U.S. Department
of Education, 2004)
Teacher efficacy
Teacher efficacy is defined as a teachers belief in their abilities to organize and
execute courses of action to bring about desired results. (Tscheannen-Moran, 1998) It influences
both the kind of environment that is created as well as their judgments about tasks they perform
to enhance student learning. (Sharma, 2012)

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

Chapter 2
Literature review
This chapter will review literature on the theoretical model and two learning models to
provide insight into my research topic. The first area to be reviewed is the inclusion model. This
model of the classroom brings all students, those with and without disabilities, into the same
general education classroom. The next area addressed will be the co-teaching model in which a
classroom has a general education teacher as well as a special education teacher. Lastly this
chapter will examine the inquiry based learning model. This model looks at a problem that
through student centered learning the students come to a solution. By the end of the chapter, each
framework will have been thoroughly discussed.
Inclusion
Inclusion is based on the philosophy that all students are different in any number of ways
(not limited to disability), and in order to meet their learning needs, schools need to adapt and
change their practices (Sharma, 2012). Inclusive education means that all students within a
school regardless of their strengths or weaknesses, or disabilities in any area become part of the
school community (King, 2003) Schools exist to meet the needs of all students so then id a
student is having difficulty it is a problem of the school, not the student. It is built on the
principle that all students should be valued for their abilities and included as important members
of the school community. (Obiakor, 2011) Education is about the quality of the school
experience and about how far they are helped to learn, achieve, and participate fully in the life of

EFFECTS OF TEACHING MODELS

the school (Sharma, 2012). With inclusion, students with disabilities are expected to achieve
academic and emotional success while learning beside their peers (Obiakor, 2011).
The inclusion of children with disabilities in regular classrooms is now a worldwide trend
that has been growing in popularity; so much so that the United States government mandated that
inclusion should be and is the norm for education. The least restrictive environment (LRE)
mandate of the Education of All Handicapped Childrens Act of 1975, the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990, and subsequent reauthorizations in 1997 and 2004
focus on inclusive practices. These laws direct that students receiving special education must be
educated with their peers without disabilities to the maximum extent both possible and
appropriate (Obiakor, 2011).
The role of the educator in inclusion classrooms is different from that of the traditional
teacher. This teacher must diversify their goals, assessment, and instruction to accommodate and
meet the range of developmental and emotional needs present in todays classroom (Beattie,
Jordan, & Algozzine, 2007). For inclusion to work, teachers must be willing to provide
differentiated instruction and have the ability to implement it within their classrooms (Obiakor,
2011). These teachers must
(a) have high expectations for their students and believe all students are capable of
academic success; (b) communicate clearly, pace lessons appropriately, involve students
in decisions, monitor students progress, and provide frequent feedback; (c) use culturally
relevant teaching approaches that integrate students native language and dialect, culture,
and community into classroom activities to make input more relevant and

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comprehensible; and (d) use curricula in teaching strategies that promote coherence,
relevance, progression, and continuity. (Grant & Gomez, 1995)
Barriers to effective inclusion education
One of the major implications of developing a policy of inclusive education is that
the government should ensure school personnel are capable of working and teaching within
inclusive classrooms. However research has revealed the content, processes and examination of
special education in programs are subject to great variations both in practice and provision
(Hodkinson & Devarakonda, 2009). Furthermore many believe these programs fail to train
teachers adequately enough to work in integrated settings (Hodkinson & Devarakonda, 2009).
Another barrier to effective inclusion practices are the teachers attitudes towards
it. Although educators may not be biased towards these students, many teachers do not agree that
a majority of these students can be mainstreamed in to the general classroom and it result in
success. (Hodkinson & Devarakonda, 2009).
Co-teaching model
Co-teaching can be defined as the partnering of a general education teacher and a special
education teacher in order to jointly deliver instruction to a diverse group of students in a general
education setting (Friend, Hurley-Chamberlain, & Shamberger, 2010). The intent is to make it
possible for students with disabilities to have access to the general curriculum while
simultaneously receiving the benefits of specialized instructional strategies for their learning.
There are six approaches to co-teaching: one teach, one observe; one teach, one assist;
station teaching; parallel teaching; alternative teaching and team teaching. One teach, one

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observe is the practice of one teacher, usually the general education teacher, leading large group
instruction while the second gathers academic, behavioral, and social data on specific students,
those with disabilities. One teach, one assist is an approach similar to one teach, one observe.
The only difference is that the second teacher, usually a specialist, is circulating among the
students offering individual assistance. Station teaching is similar to small group instruction; in
this classroom set-up there are three stations. Students rotate stations, two of which have a
teacher and one of which that is independent work. Parallel teaching splits the class in half; each
teacher takes half and presents the same material to the students while fostering instructional
differentiation and increasing student participation. Alternative teaching is an approach where
one teacher works with a majority of the students while the second works with a small group to
remediate, preteach, assess or other purposes. Team teaching occurs when both teachers lead
large group instruction, playing off one another or showing alternatives to problem solving.
(Friend, Hurley-Chamberlain, & Shamberger, 2010)
Literature suggests co-teaching is an effective strategy for students with a variety of
needs: English language learners, hearing impairments, and learning disabilities (Prizeman,
2015). It has positive effects on student achievement, empowering them for success. There are
many advantages to this system including low pupil to teacher ratio and enhanced differentiation
(Prizeman, 2015)
Inquiry based model
The inquiry based education model is centered on and driven by students. The students
are actively involved in investigations that provide them with opportunities to explore possible

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solutions, explain phenomenon, elaborate on potential outcomes, and evaluate findings (Gillies
& Nichols, 2015). Inquiry learning has many benefits; it can
(1) capture students interest in science by providing opportunities that not only challenge
but also inspire and fascinate them with what it has to offer, (2) address the decline in
numbers of students choosing to study science, particularly in the senior high school
years where the decline is marked, and (3) foster collaborative student talk and be used to
promote reasoning and scientific understanding during small-group discussions. (Gillies
& Nichols, 2015)
This learning model promotes student engagement because students are required to work
together collaboratively. Students learn to listen to what others have say, share ideas and
information, clarify misunderstandings, generate new understanding, construct and critique
different ideas and points of view, and how to reason (Gillies & Nichols, 2015).
The teachers role in inquiry learning is different from traditional teaching. They must
arose student imagination in new phenomena while connecting to existing background
knowledge, provide opportunities for students to collaborate and engage with one another, and
encourage students in their questions and ideas (Gillies & Nichols, 2015).
Conclusion
The literature started by looking at the concept of inclusion. It defined what inclusion is,
looking at the legal requirements surrounding it, and examining some of the negative drawbacks.
The teacher requirement were also discussed, showing that there is more involved that simply
placing all students into general education classrooms.

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The review continued to review the co-teaching model. There six different approaches to
this model, all requiring something different of the two teachers involved.
Another model reviewed was the inquiry based learning model. In this model students
drive instruction and the teacher is merely a facilitator of instruction.
It is clear that there are many models of inclusion. This requires the teacher to be a
researcher in the classroom to determine what model of instruction allows his or her students to
succeed.

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Chapter 3

Introduction
The goal of this research is to identify the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the inclusion
practices of co-teaching and inquiry-based learning. Looking through the data, do these practices
show significant growth and learning in students identified as special needs; do students, parents
and the researcher see value in these practices.
Research Design
The research design in this study will be an action research case study. This will be an
action research study because I, as the teacher, will be an active participant in the study. As the
teacher I have the authority to make decisions and decide which practices students will be
involved in since every student is a different learner and requires individualization. This will also
allow reflection and improvement on my part as a teacher as I collect data and analyze it.
Setting and Participants
This study will look at one inclusive secondary chemistry classroom in a high school in a
semi-rural East Texas city. This high school serves approximately 1,500 students. The student
population is a minority one with 32% Caucasian, 39.7% African American, 26.8% Hispanic,
and less than 1% Asian, Native American, and mixed. The school is predominantly classified as
economically disadvantaged with 64% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch.
This researcher will specifically observe two class periods, one of which will be
receiving the inclusion model of co-teaching while the other will be receiving the inquiry-based
learning model. Even though all students in these classes will be participating in the study, only

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information and data will be pulled on students that are classified as special education, have a
learning disability, or are 504 students.
Procedural details
I will be making observations, reflecting on the observations and collecting student
artifacts for one grading period, nine weeks of school. At the beginning I will assess students
through a pre-test of only the material that will be covered in those nine weeks. I will also hand
out student surveys to gauge student understanding, as well as perceived challenges to chemistry
and science courses. Once every two weeks I will redistribute the student survey to determine
whether or not student understanding and challenges have changed. At the end of the nine weeks
I will look at all of the data collected and determine the effectiveness of the teaching models and
strategies implemented.
Validity and Reliability
In this study, validity and reliability will be found in credibility, transferability,
dependability, and confirmability.
In order for this study to be credible, this researcher will take in to account the
complexities and non-explainable patterns that present themselves through several manners - by
diligently observing the classroom; peer debriefing frequently, especially when writing the
methodology and results of the study; and cross verification of source.
Transferability will be ensured through a collection of detailed descriptive data as well as
detailed descriptions of context for that data. The generalization of these findings to other
settings will be enhanced by triangulation of data (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). The reader of the

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case study will determine whether the information contained in this case study may be
generalized to other cases with which he or she is familiar.
The dependability of the research will be safeguarded through overlapping methods
throughout in conjunction with an established audit trail. Consistency in the research process
should culminate in dependable results.
The confirmability of the study, neutrality, will be established through, once again, cross
verification and reflexivity. (Mills, 2016) The researcher will provide controls for bias in this
interpretation and these are described in the following section.
Data Analysis
Data analysis will first involve the researcher reading and reexamining all notes, surveys
and interviews collected in the field. Detailed descriptions of participants, the setting and
phenomenon that are being studied will be made note of.
The constant comparative method will be used to analyze the data. I will begin coding the
data as it is collected, looking for common phrases and meaning within those phrases. I will also
look at all data collected and use deep thought to analyze what it all means.
Conclusion
This chapter described the design of my study. The research question was stated and an
explanation of the research design was given. Procedures of the study were given as well as the
setting and participants. The trustworthiness of the study was outlined. The chapter ended with
data collection and interpretation of that data was explained.

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References

Beattie, J., Jordan, L., & Algozzine, B. (2006). Making inclusion work: Effective practices for all
teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Brigham, F. J., Scruggs, T. E., & Mastropieri, M. A. (2011). Science education and students with
learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (Wiley-Blackwell), 26(4),
223-232.
Friend, M., Cook, L., Hurley-Chamberlain, D., & Shamberger, C. (2010). Co-Teaching: An
illustration of the complexity of collaboration in special education. Journal Of
Educational & Psychological Consultation, 20(1), 9-27.
Galvan, M. E., & Coronado, J. M. (2014). Problem-based and project-based learning: Promoting
differentiated instruction. National Teacher Education Journal, 7(4), 39-42.
Gillies, R., & Nichols, K. (2015). How to support primary teachers' implementation of inquiry:
teachers' reflections on teaching cooperative inquiry-based science. Research In Science
Education, 45(2), 171-191.
Grant, C. A., & Gomez, M. L. (1995). Making schooling multicultural: Campus and classroom.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hodkinson, A., & Devarakonda, C. (2009). Conceptions of inclusion and inclusive education: A
critical examination of the perspectives and practices of teachers in India. Research In
Education, (82), 85-99.
King, I. C. (2003). Examining middle school inclusion classrooms through the lens of learner
centered principles. Theory into Practice, 42, 151-158.

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Lyon, C. E., Rotherham, A. J., & Hokanson, C. R. (2001). Rethinking special education for a
new century. Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.
McGinnis, J. R. (2013). Teaching science to learners with special needs. Theory Into Practice,
52(1), 43-50.
Obiakor, F. E. (2011). Maximizing access, equity, and inclusion in general and special Education.
Journal Of The International Association Of Special Education, 12(1), 10-16.
Ontario (2011). Getting started with student inquiry. Capacity Building Series, 24(11), 1-5.
Prizeman, R. (2015). Perspectives on the co-teaching experience: Examining the views of
teaching staff and students. Reach, 29(1), 43-53.
Sharma, U., Loreman, T., & Forlin, C. (2012). Measuring teacher efficacy to implement inclusive
practices. Journal Of Research In Special Educational Needs, 12(1), 12-21.
Thornton, A., Mckissick, B. R., Spooner, F., Lo, Y., & Anderson, A. L. (2015). Effects of
collaborative preteaching on science performance of high school students with specific
learning disabilities. Education and Treatment of Children, 38(3), 277-304

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