Co-Teaching 101:A Beginning Presented by Janice Putman and Maureen Rauscher Improvement Consultants
Participantsshould be able to: • Define co-teaching and distinguish it from other concepts related to inclusive practices; • Explain the rationale for co-teaching, the benefits and pitfalls;
Participants should be able to: • Discuss how collaboration enhances co-teaching and outline strategies for developing a collaborative co-teaching relationship; • Clarify the personal, pedagogical and discipline-specific qualities and skills that co-teachers need to possess;
Participants should be able to: • Apply six approaches for co-teaching to classroom practice and outline issues that co-teachers should periodically discuss to monitor and enhance their practice. • Know how to evaluate and improve their co-teaching practices.
Research-Based Practice Material presented today will be based on research by: • Co-teaching Marilyn Friend • Change Margaret Wheatley • Interpersonal Styles Anita DeBoer • Co-planning Lisa A. Dieker
Defining Co-Teaching Co-teaching occurs when two or more professionals jointly deliver substantive instruction to a diverse, or blended, group of students in a single physical space. Cook and Friend, 1995
What is co-teaching? Co-teaching is first and foremost an approach for meeting the educational needs of students with diverse learning abilities. Cook & Friend, 1995
What is co-teaching? Co-teaching is a service delivery option for providing special education or related services to students with disabilities or other special needs while they remain in their general education classes. Friend & Cook 2007
What is co-teaching? Co-teaching occurs when two or more teachers, one general educator and the other a special service provider (e.g. special education, related services, ELL, reading) share physical space in order to actively instruct a blended group of students, including students with disabilities.
What’s the difference? • Co-teaching • Class-within-a-class • Collaboration • Paraprofessional Assigned to Class
Co-teaching Vs. Other Delivery Options • Who plans the lessons? • Who provides the instruction to all students? • Do both teachers interact with all parents, or are students divided into groups (yours and mine)? • Who determines grades for all students? • Who makes adaptations and does follow up?
Co-teaching is a service delivery system, in which: • Two (or more) professionally credentialed staff • Share instructional responsibility • For a single group of students • Primarily in a single classroom or workspace
Co-teaching Definition (continued) • To teach required curriculum • With mutual ownership, pooled resources, and joint accountability • Although each individual’s level of participation may vary. Marilyn Friend (2007)
Co-teaching is not: • An extra set of hands in the classroom; • The general education teacher providing instruction as if she or he was teaching alone while the special educator roams; • Two individuals taking turns teaching;
Co-teaching is not: • An individual pulling a small group of students aside to deliver instruction completely separate from that being provided to the rest of the class. • Shoring up incompetent staff.
Why co-teach? • Teachers with different specialties, e.g. general and special education, can better meet the needs of a diverse population of students. • “Co-teaching should result in direct instructional and social benefits for students who have IEPs.” Friend and Cook, 2007
Why co-teach? • Special educators have developed a tendency to “own” students on IEPs which decreases participation of general ed teachers in collaborative problem solving • General educators have more ownership when they have background knowledge and a chance to participate in the decisions
Pros of Co-Teaching • All children learn from each other • Typical children become more accepting of individual differences • Improved self-esteem for special needs students • All students exposed to a variety of teaching styles and strategies • Students have role models
Pros of Co-Teaching • Provides for highly qualified teachers in the least restrictive environment • Provides a “strategies expert” for ALL students who are having difficulty • Students become active learners through frequent interaction and feedback.
Student Benefits of Co-Teaching • Cohesive programming occurs when connections are made between students’ individual needs and the regular classroom curriculum. • Individualization of instruction increases.
Student Benefits of Co-Teaching • Research indicates that special education students score higher on achievement tests when they are exposed to content knowledge in a regular education classroom.
Why co-teaching? Why now? • IDEA and NCLB requirements • Gives students access to highly qualified subject- matter teachers (HQT) • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) • Access to general education curriculum • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
Why co-teaching? Why now? • Wider range of instructional alternatives for all students • Reduces fragmentation of learning • Enhances the participation of students with special needs as full classroom members
Why co-teaching? Why now? • Creates conditions in which students with disabilities and other groups can make AYP • Provides powerful support for the professionals who teach • Reduces stigma for students
Inclusive Schools. . . Don’t ask, “How does this student have to change in order to be in this class?” But rather, “How do we have to change in order to offer full membership to our students with disabilities?”
How can co-teaching help meet students’ needs? Can any one teacher meet the educational, social and physical needs of all students?
Benefits of Co-Teaching • Shared responsibility for educating all students • Shared understanding and use of common assessment data • Shared ownership for programming and interventions
Benefits of Co-Teaching • Creating common understanding • Teachers learn from each other • Collegial relationships are created along with professional development
Benefits of Co-Teaching • Resources are shared • Management strategies are more consistent with frequent feedback • Individualization of instruction is fostered with multiple views of the students
Challenges • Must provide team planning time • High ratios of students-teachers • People’s perceptions and expectations • Speed of curriculum • Behavior • Scheduling issues
Building Bridges Walking across the bridge, leaving the familiar ground of working alone, is the first act of collaboration. All parties are on neutral territory, with the security of knowing they can return to land better, stronger and changed. And perhaps they will return to the same side of the bridge even though they started from opposite sides. Steele, Bell, & George, 2005
Points to Ponder • What has been your experience with co-teaching? • What role is co-teaching playing in your schools’ efforts to address the requirements of NCLB and IDEA? • When you think about co-teaching, what are the concerns or questions you have?
Co –teaching Approaches • One Teach, One Observe • Station Teaching • Parallel Teaching • Alternative Teaching • Team Teaching • One Teach, One Assist
One Teach, One Observe One teacher teaches and the other systematically collects data on a student, group of students or entire class on behaviors the professionals have previously agreed upon.
One Teach One Observe
One Teach, One Observe Benefits: • Opportunity for observation of students and data collection • Jointly decided specifics to observe and analyze in advance • Both professionals should discuss the results of the observations • Deepen understanding of each other’s teaching styles • Requires little joint planning
One Teach, One Observe Drawbacks, if used to excess: • Special service provider is relegated to the role of assistant • Students do not see teachers as having equivalent responsibility and authority Recommended Use: Periodic (5-10%)
Station Teaching Students in groups of three or more rotate to various teacher-led and independent work stations where new instruction, review, and/or practice is provided. Students may work at all stations during the rotation
Teacher 2 Group 2 Teacher 1 • Computer center • Silent reading • Project table • Assessment table Group 3 Group 1 Students move rotating to each group
Station Teaching Benefits: • Involves both educators in instruction • Enables a clear division of labor for planning and teaching • Allows for different teaching styles • Students benefit from a lower teacher-pupil ratio • Students with disabilities are integrated into groups, rather than singled out
Station Teaching Drawbacks: • Noise and movement within the classroom • Teachers or students may be distracted by two teachers talking in the classroom at the same time. • Teachers need to think about how to divide instruction. Hierarchical material cannot be presented using this approach. • Lessons must be timed so groups can move as scheduled. Recommended Use: Frequent (30-40%)
Parallel Teaching Students are divided into two heterogeneous groups. Each partner teaches a group essentially the same material.
Teacher 1 Both teachers teach the same content in the same room simultaneously Teacher 2