Teaching in Tandem: Effective Co-Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom

Teaching in Tandem: Effective Co-Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom

Teaching in Tandem: Effective Co-Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom

Teaching in Tandem: Effective Co-Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom


Co-teaching is an equal partnership between a special education teacher and a general education teacher. They share a classroom and responsibilities for teaching all students in the class. But what does co-teaching look like? How does it work? Are we doing it right? Finding the answers to these questions is critical to the effectiveness of a co-teaching program that is grounded in inclusive educational practices. In this book, you'll learn how co-teachers

• Define what effective co-teaching is and what it is not;

• Engage students in evolving groups, using multiple perspectives for meaningful learning opportunities;

• Resolve differences in teaching and assessment practices;

• Respond to parents and students about inclusion and co-teaching concerns; and

• Organize and teach an equitable, inclusive classroom.

Concise and informative answers to questions posed by real teachers, administrators, and parents help you learn about the components of co-teaching. And vignettes about issues that arise in co-teaching situations will help you start conversations and solve day-to-day challenges inherent to co-teaching.

Whether you're already involved in co-teaching programs or are soon to embark on the effort, Teaching in Tandem provides knowledge and tools that you can use to create effective partnerships and powerful learning environments for teachers and students alike. Every teacher, principal, administrator, and paraprofessional who participates in co-teaching--or who is worried about how to address inclusion--needs this book.

An additional annotated resource list is available online, along with an ASCD Study Guide.


We just don’t know was the response to the question What can we expect from this child? The year was 1972. The question was posed to a doctor holding a young child with special needs during the exposé of Staten Island’s Willowbrook State School (Primo, 1972). How did anyone know the capabilities of children who were not exposed to any typical conditions of life, including basic hygiene and social interactions? Today, with the advantages of decades of federal and state legislation, research, and the devoted practices and advocacy of educators and families, life for a child with special needs is quite different than it was in the 1970s.

But we still have the same answer to the same question: What can we expect from this child? We don’t know. And we won’t know unless we relentlessly push ourselves to remember that all children are entitled to experience the rhythms and conditions of life that most of us enjoy (Wolfensberger, 1972), including an education at a neighborhood school, in typical classes, with highly qualified teachers who are teaching standard curricula.

To reach that goal, schools are adopting the practice of co-teaching. Simply defined, co-teaching is the pairing of a general education teacher and a special education teacher in a classroom filled with diverse learners. We’ve seen . . .

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