Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

David T. Hoppey

Co-Major Professor

Lise Fox


blended teacher education, Collaborative models of teacher education, early childhood education, early childhood special education, instrumental case study, unified teacher education


Collaborative models of teacher education have grown from the belief that through such models we can improve the quality and availability of truly inclusive opportunities for children with diverse abilities and their families. Little is known however as to the extent collaborative models are capable of influencing inclusive service delivery or in terms of their efficacy to impact the relative inclusive practice of their graduates as compared to other models of teacher education. As an important first step toward examining the relative worth and efficacy of collaborative models of early childhood teacher education, this case study applied a conceptual framework derived from activity systems theory (Engeström, 1987; 1999) and the recommended research framework for investigation into collaborative models (Pugach & Blanton, 2009) to consider one such teacher education program as a system. Doing so offers the literature a description of one program's parameters of practice and efforts to produce effective, inclusive teachers and leaders through a collaborative approach; something that was previously lacking in the literature base. Working to understand how this teacher education program operates as a system helped characterize the parameters of practice specific to collaborative program dimensions. Elements of harmony and tension as well as cultural tools specific to the program's attempts to meet its object and ultimate outcome per activity theory were also identified. Finally, case study analysis of this particular program through the conceptual framework provided insight related to current and future efforts of collaborative early childhood teacher education and broader teacher education reform