Co-Teaching: How to Make This Marriage Work in Front of the Kids

By Kohler-Evans, Patty A. | Education, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

Co-Teaching: How to Make This Marriage Work in Front of the Kids


Kohler-Evans, Patty A., Education


The demands placed on school districts have galvanized the development of a relatively new educational kid on the block--co-teaching. As a result of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the even more recent mandates of the newly revised Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, which defines "highly qualified" in new ways, it has become increasingly important for schools to utilize their resources using more effective and creative means. Time has taught us that students pulled from general education classes and taught in a resource setting do not benefit from the instruction of content area teachers. We also know that all general education teachers do not possess the expertise to meet the learning differences posed by students with disabilities. Co-teaching has become one of many collaborative strategies that schools are looking at in an effort to meet the needs of all students within this educational framework that we call school (Villa, Thousand, & Niven, 2004; Snell & Janney, 2005).

As a result of these mandates, there has been a mad scramble to place two teachers in the same room at the same time and call it co-teaching. Despite the fact that specific models exist and that there are a multitude of how-to books and articles on the subject, co-teaching is regarded as a way to address the letter of the law rather than as a really fun, exciting, and valuable teaching technique to be used in conjunction with other inclusive strategies for the purpose of meeting the needs of all students in an inclusive school community. Co-teaching teams have been forced into the general education classroom where veteran teachers feel insulted to have a special education teacher placed in the room with the expectation that they both teach content area critical concepts. Special education teachers are frustrated because they have been left homeless, having their room taken from them, and have been thrust into a classroom that has been resided in by a veteran language arts, math, history, or science teacher who knows what to teach and how to teach it. The outcome of this dubious union is often a marriage that crumbles in front of the kids because the time and care needed to nurture and sustain it has not been provided.

Research Findings

Research findings have yielded mixed results on the effects of co-teaching. Some studies have indicated that students with disabilities showed larger gains in math and equal gains in reading when compared to students receiving pull out services (Bear & Proctor, 1990), and that consultation plus co-teaching was as effective as other service delivery models (Schulte, Osborne, & McKinney, 1990; Marston, 1996). Boudah and colleagues (1997) found that performance of students with high-incidence disabilities worsened during co-teaching. Other studies have indicated that for high-risk students (Dieker, 1998) and students with learning disabilities (Rice & Zigmond, 1999; Welch, 2000), co-teaching is an effective practice. Even with these mixed results, 77% of middle schools are using some form of co-teaching.

Teacher Survey

The author conducted a study of the attitudes and concerns of secondary teachers from 15 urban and suburban districts in and around Seattle, Washington. Using a structured interview format, general and special education teachers were asked to reply to a series of open and closed ended questions. Participation was anonymous and interviews were conducted on a 1 to 1 basis. Teachers were asked to share their opinions as well as factual information about the effects of co-teaching. Anonymity protected the views of supporters as well as complainers.

The majority of the teachers surveyed did not participate voluntarily and most had no prior planning before engaging in the co-teaching process. Co-teaching proponents would argue that both of these features are necessary for a successful experience. Seventy-seven percent of the teachers surveyed said that co-teaching influenced student achievement. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Co-Teaching: How to Make This Marriage Work in Front of the Kids
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.