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Co-teaching in Regular Education Classrooms Presented by Ajay Das, Ph.D. The University of Melbourne, Australia
What is Co-teaching? Two or more people sharing responsibility for teaching all of the students assigned to a classroom. Villa, Thousand, Nevin (2004)
Characteristics of Co-taught Classrooms Involves two or more professionals Heterogenous group of students Shared delivery of instruction Occurs in a shared physical space Participation may vary based on needs of students
Difficulties Faced by SWDs in Regular Education Classrooms Reading Fluency Reading Comprehension Math Reasoning/Problem Solving Math Computation Math Fluency Written Expression Other difficulties (organization, time management, note taking, receptive and expressive abilities etc.)
Why Co-teach? Mandates of Federal Laws: IDEA (1997) and NCLB (2001) required students with disabilities to be included in regular ed. Classrooms as full participants in rigorous academic and general education curriculum and assessment. 2. Academic and Social Skills gains: Demonstrated benefits for students with and without disabilities (Welch, 2000; Hourcade & Bauwens, 2002)
Student Benefits Increased homework completion rate More opportunity for direct teacher contact Availability of different teaching methods Helps students build relationships with teachers Learning modes are easily accommodated Daily work habits are reinforced and monitored Conducive to parent support
Teacher Benefits Not isolated Shared chores Parent conferences are more effective Fewer discipline problems Share and learn expertise and strategies Shared accountability
Co-teaching Models Supportive teaching Parallel teaching Team teaching
Issues to Resolve in Planning Co-teaching Lessons Instruction Student Behavior What content will we include? Who plans what content? How will we share teaching responsibility? Who adapts the curriculum and assessment for select students? What are our strengths in the area of instruction and assessment? Who determines the disciplinary procedures? Who carries out the disciplinary procedures and delivers the consequences? How will we be consistent in dealing with problem behavior(s)? How will we proactively address behavior problems?
Evaluation Communication How will we monitor student’s progress? How will we assess and grade student performance? Who evaluates which group of students? What types and frequency of communication do we each like to have with parents? Who will communicate with parents? (sp. ed. kids’ parents??) Who communicates with administrators?
What Co-teaching is NOT? Co-teaching is NOT when one person conducts a lesson and the other stands or sits by and watch. Co-teaching is NOT when one person teaches the class and the other prepares instructional materials at the photocopier or grades students’ tests/quizzes in his/her classroom. Co-teaching is NOT happening when the ideas of one person prevail for what is to be taught or how it will be taught and assessed.
Administrator Actions to Promote Co-teaching Publicly articulate rationale for co-teaching Identify strengths of special education teachers and pair them accordingly Create a master schedule for collaboration Provide time for co-teachers to meet by relieving them from non-instructional duties Educate school and community members about the accomplishments of collaborative planning and teaching teams