The Importance Of Co Teaching For Students With Special Needs

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“Co-teaching is defined as ‘two or more professionals delivering substantive instruction to a diverse, or blended group of students in a single physical space’ (Cook and Friend, 1995, p. 2) and thus comprises four basic characteristics” (Tremblay, 2013, p. 251). These four characteristics are two licensed, qualified instructors, most often a general education instructor and a special education instructor; a heterogeneous collection of students, meaning both general education and students with special needs; instruction being done by both instructors; and a shared setting, or a classroom. While this collaboration can consist of permanent, yearlong co-teaching, it can also be temporary, such as a few hours a day or a week (Tremblay, 2013, p. 251). Additionally, both educators work to implement any IEPs for the students who possess them, and both “are responsible for instructional planning and delivery, assessment of student achievement, and classroom management” (Nevin, Cramer, Voigt, & Salazar, 2008, p. 283). Co-teaching exists in several different ways, but when done correctly, it has a major positive impact on student learning.
Co-teaching Configurations There are five major configurations of co-teaching. Support teaching, also known as “one teach, one assist” and the most commonly used, is a structure composed of one teacher who teaches the lesson and the second teacher observing or assisting with the the special education teacher performing the latter role. The…

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