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Co-Teaching

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Course Description and Goals:

Co-teaching is two or more people — a general education teacher and a special education teacher — sharing responsibility for teaching some or all of the students assigned to a classroom. It involves the equal distribution of responsibility among teachers for planning, instruction, and evaluation for a classroom of students. Co-teaching is an option for providing differentiated and special instruction in an inclusive educational community. The primary objective of the co-teaching model is to maximize student growth and achievement in a community of diverse learners.

“For co-teaching to have enough impact to improve outcomes for students, both teachers must have a commitment to the entire instructional process and actively contribute to helping [all students in the classroom] reach their potential. Effective co-teaching relies on setting aside assumptions and engaging in ongoing discussion of how to engage both professionals in the process of teaching and learning” (Marilyn Friend, 2008).

Recognizing that good relationships are at the heart of successful co-teaching teams, this course will examine and explore strategies for working cohesively and effectively as a team. While learning about different elements of and approaches to co-teaching, we will observe our individual teaching and planning styles, and learn how to integrate styles and skills with those of other teachers. In particular, we will develop communication and collaborative skills through a variety of activities and exercises that can be used in the classroom.

The goals of this course are to prepare the participants to:

  • Know, understand, evaluate, and practice co-teaching models and approaches
    • Analyze communication and teaching styles of self and others
    • Analyze and challenge assumptions and beliefs about the philosophy of inclusion
    • Practice collaboration, communication, and interactive skills
    • Learn and practice group leadership skills for an inclusion classroom
    • Learn and practice effective strategies for dealing with conflict
    • Apply concepts and effective collaboration strategies to classroom practice
    • Create a method for reflective practice and continuing self-evaluation

Texts/Resources:

Friend, M. (2008). Co-Teach! A handbook for creating and sustaining effective classroom partnerships in inclusive schools. Greensboro, NC: Marilyn Friend, Inc.
Villa, R., Thousand, J., & Nevin, A. (2008). A guide to co-teaching: Practical tips for facilitating student learning (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Conderman, G., Bresnahan, V., & Pedersen, T. (2009). Purposeful co-teaching: Real cases and effective strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

About the Instructor:

Teri Young has served as a Co-Teaching instructor with Antioch’s Center for School Renewal, and will be teaching a graduate course entitled Children with Special Needs at Antioch University New England this summer.  She is also a doctoral student enrolled in Union Institute and University’s Ed.D. program.  Teri earned her M.S. degree in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, with a specialization in supervision and evaluation.  She has a wealth of experience in school administration, middle school teaching, and special education.  This summer Teri will be providing Co-Teaching training for two of the regional Education Service Centers (ESA) including LAPDA and the Southeast Vermont Learning Collaborative.