Fall 2023


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Betsy Parrish and Jana Lo Bello Miller

Content Expert

Anna Bullard


The research question in this capstone project that was explored was, “in what ways can building early collaboration between secondary mainstream teachers and ELL teachers positively impact student learning?” This research question explores collaborative co-teaching and its process based on past personal experiences and research to assist and boost ELL students’ achievement through collaboration. Based on research, secondary teachers are often on their own islands and do not have much of an opportunity to collaborate. Secondary teachers are also often voluntold to co-teach instead of volunteer. Even if a co-teaching pair is open to the idea, many have no idea where to begin. Co-teaching has also been said to be incredibly difficult to achieve due to multiple factors, one large reason cited is the lack of teachers’ foundational relationship-building skills and a lack of awareness about roles and responsibilities for mainstream and ELL teachers. Based on the Effective Teacher Professional Development framework by Hammond-Darling et al. (2017), this capstone project focuses on four, ninety-minute professional development sessions that introduce the steps and aim to give a solid foundation for new ELL and mainstream co-teaching pairs to positively develop their relationships, trust, and communication for each other to have a co-teaching relationship successfully. There are four professional development sessions: buy-in for co-teaching including research and statistics, the six co-teaching models that will be explored in-depth including whole group and two group co-teaching, and will also offer co-teaching pairs an opportunity to self-reflect on their teaching styles and rules and have structured facilitation time for discussions with their co-teacher. Finally, the co-teaching pairs will also work on building a co-teaching mini-lesson together. This project aims to give new co-teaching partnerships a solid foundation and starting point for a successful school year.

Project Type

Professional Development


ESL/ ELLs, Leadership, Staff Development, Teachers/ Teaching








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