Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Whitten

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet Dynak

Third Advisor

Dr. Howard Poole

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that a paradigm shift from a junior high departmental model to a middle school team model had in one rural mid-western school district. The relationship between professional development in collaborative teaming and teaching, and the effective use of these skills, was studied. The researcher took the role of participant observer in order to obtain an inside view of the school for this case study. Participants were observed during team meetings and completed a questionnaire that addressed the identified variables related to interdisciplinary teaming, collaborative teaching, professional development, and administrative support. Overall, it was concluded that the middle school team model can provide positive experiences for teachers and students.