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Co-teaching in Australian schools.


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PowerPoint presentation by Tracy Hall and Janet Sonter for SPE3003 University of Southern Queensland.

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Co-teaching in Australian schools.

  1. 1. Photo: Jimboomba State School Presented by Janet Sonter and Tracy Hall SPE3003
  2. 2. What does Co-Teaching in a classroom look like? As we integrate our special needs students into mainstream classrooms, it makes sense that we begin also to implement special needs educators into these classes. Co-teaching is where there is a mainstream trained teacher and a special needs teacher working co-operatively in the same room to benefit the needs of ALL students (Beamish, Bryer and Davies, 2005).
  3. 3. To work effectively as a co-teacher, the educators must come to an agreement on who is responsible for what tasks. The joint delivery of instruction within a co-taught room is important and can look different from one classroom to the next, or even from one unit of work to the next within the same class. The regular teacher is no longer always providing large group instruction, and the special education teacher is not always attached to the special needs students. Take some time to view this YouTube video. This was taken in the United States in a year three classroom, but depicts what Co-Teaching means to children and teachers, this also applies to Australian classrooms. Inclusion: Collaborative Team Teaching in the Third Grade
  4. 4. There are four main approaches to co-teaching (Beamish et al.). These approaches are: Station Teaching Parallel Teaching Team Teaching Alternative Teaching. The approach used may be consistent or different in each co-teaching situation, dependant on the staff preferences and the demeanour of the student cohort. The following links provide video examples of each teaching style.
  5. 5. View the following videos and complete Task 1 on Slide 6. Station Teaching – teaching on a rotational basis . Two teaching stations are set up and content is taught to two separate groups of students. Station Teaching Parallel Teaching – two heterogeneous groups Class is divided and same content is taught by both teachers. Parallel Teaching Team Teaching – whole group of students Teachers instruct students simultaneously using a “tag team” approach. Team Teaching Alternative Teaching – large and individual groups One teacher takes majority of group and the other teacher instructs small groups or individuals. Alternative Teaching
  6. 6. Task One: Consider you are in a co-teaching classroom. Watch the YouTube videos entitled Station Teaching Parallel Teaching . Team Teaching Alternative Teaching Document on the Study Desk when you would use each of these approaches? Discuss briefly your opinion on how each of these approaches would work in a classroom situation.
  7. 7. In a study by Beamish, Bryer and Davies (2005), six mini teams of regular and special education teachers across South East Queensland used co-teaching to plan, implement, and evaluate units of work in classes with diverse abilities and needs. These teachers underwent extensive reflective sessions regarding how they perceived co-teaching within classrooms. After the six months, teachers expressed that : “ their co-teaching experiences enabled them to deliver instruction together in one room. In a co-taught class, they were able to experience and ”enjoy” the sharing and blending of expertise, and they often stated that they felt ”valued” by their partner. The regular educators were able to expand their skills in specific instructional adaptations, and the special educators were able to expand their skills in delivery of regular curriculum content.” (Beamish et al., 2005)
  8. 8. The first step in planning a unit of work in a co-taught classroom is to facilitate negotiations of levels of responsibility between the two teachers. There are four levels of responsibility (Villa, Thousand and Nevin, 2004), primary, secondary, equal and some input into decision making which can be used in combinations regarding people and tasks. Lesson plans, in a co-teaching classroom, should incorporate both teachers in the structure of the lesson. Planning is essential and it is necessary for both educators to be aware of their responsibilities in the co-teaching classroom to obtain the best educational outcome for teachers and students. Planning and Implementing a Unit of Work
  9. 9. Lesson Plans
  10. 11. The example lesson plan is a combination of conventional lesson plans modified to suit a co-teaching situation. Below are two examples of blank lesson plans. Click here to go to co-teaching template Click here to go to lesson plan template Task Two: Research lesson plan templates. Post any useful links on Study Desk to share with other students.
  11. 12. Welcome to Ms Hall and Mrs Sonter’s virtual classroom. Our year four class consists of 25 mixed ability students. We have 11 girls and 14 boys. Out of the 25 students we have 5 with special needs and 2 gifted and talented students. Let us introduce you to our exceptional students. Henry - 9 years old – Student with Moderate Hearing Impairment. Henry lip reads and uses a transmitter - receiver system. Julie – 9 years old – Student with Aspergers. Julie is very high needs and can be very aggressive. Trent – 10 years old – Student with Physical Impairment. Trent is confined to a wheelchair. Joshua – 10 years old – Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Joshua has difficulty with group work and can not tolerate noise. Talisha – 10 years old - Student with Visual Impairment. Talisha needs to be seated close to instructional area. Jacinta – 9 years old. Student academically and musically gifted. Nathan – 9 years old. Student academically and sports gifted.
  12. 13. The virtual classroom is an example of the student cohort that could be expected in an average school in Australia. The difficulty in teaching in a conventional classroom lies in catering for the educational diversity among the student cohort. Co-teaching provides access to educational outcomes that may be difficult to obtain in the one teacher classroom. The following is two examples of a co-teaching lesson plan for a unit of work for the virtual classroom.
  13. 15. Continued next page
  14. 17. Task Three: Consider the above lesson plans and how you could implement them into the virtual classroom on slide 12. Discuss on study desk: a. Which students would the first lesson suit or not suit and why? b. Which students would the second lesson suit or not suit and why
  15. 18. Task Four: Choose a co-teaching approach and design your own lesson plan to suit the virtual classroom. Post your co-teaching lesson plan on the Study Desk. Blank copies of co-teaching lesson plans will be available for download from the Study Desk.
  16. 19. Thank You, we appreciate your participation in our virtual seminar and value any feedback you wish to leave on the Study Desk. Janet & Tracy
  17. 20. References Beamish, W., Bryer, F., Davies, M. (n.d.). Co-teaching in Queensland Primary Schools: Teacher Reflections. Retrieved May 28, 2010 from Cannerelli, S. (2010). The Post Standard. [Photograph]. Retrieved May 30, 2010, from al_new_yor.html Cook, L., Friend. (2004). Co-Teaching: Principles, Practices, and Pragmatics. Retrieved May 30, 2010, from Council for Exceptional Children. (2010) Co-Teaching 101: Lessons from the Trenches. Retrieved May 30, 2010, from TID=11473&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm
  18. 21. Georgia Department of Education. (2010). Parallel Teaching. [Video]. Retrieved May 28, 2010 from Georgia Department of Education. (2010). Station Teaching. [Video]. Retrieved May 28, 2010 from Georgia Department of Education. (2010). Team Teaching. [Video]. Retrieved May 28, 2010 from Georgia Department of Education. (2010). Alternative Teaching. [Video]. Retrieved May 28, 2010 from Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework. (2007). Essential Learnings . Retrieved May 31, 2010, from
  19. 22. Special Connections. (2005). Co-planning Template . Retrieved May 30, 2010, from Teachers Network. (2009). Inclusion: Collaborative Team Teaching in the Third Grade. [Video]. Retrieved May 28, 2010 from Villa, R.A., Thousand, J.S., & Nevin, A. I. (2004). A guide to co-teaching: Practical tips for facilitating student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Ziemba, M.J. (2008). Start Late-Finish Strong! [Photograph]. Retrieved May 30, 2010, from