Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

A Phenomenological Analysis of the Views on Co-Teaching Applications in the Inclusion Classroom

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

A Phenomenological Analysis of the Views on Co-Teaching Applications in the Inclusion Classroom

Article excerpt

Abstract

It is necessary to provide students both with and without special needs and the classroom teachers with special education support services in order to achieve successful inclusion applications. The determination of teachers' opinions about the applications they carry out is important in the planning and achievement of the future applications. The purpose of this article which was designed as an action research was to analyze the opinions of special and general education teachers, working in inclusion classes based on co-teaching approach, about the preparation stage for the application, planning meetings and applications they carried out. Research participants were composed of a researcher who is a special education teacher, a classroom teacher and second grade students. In the scope of the research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the classroom teacher; planning meetings were arranged with the aim of preparing for the applications; and reflective daily data sources compiled by the researcher were utilized. The data were analyzed from a phenomenological perspective via inductive analysis. The findings were compared with those recorded in the related literature and were discussed. Consequently, classroom teacher voluntarily participated in the research process and stated that there was no problem about classroom applications. The teacher declared the importance of planning meetings, however, did not allocate sufficient time for meetings and did not give details about the lessons. Therefore, ambiguities were recorded lesson applications about the role and responsibilities of teachers. The teacher stated that all co-teaching approaches can be applied in inclusion classes however stated that these applications were not so new for her and this process could not have any contributions to her.

Key Words

Inclusion, Student With Special Needs, Special Education Support Services, Co- Teaching, Action Research.

Most crucial factors for successful inclusion applications are underlined to be academic success and social skill levels of student with special needs, the number of students in the class, the attitude and experience of the classroom teacher and -maybe the most importantly- the special education support services (Baker & Zigmond, 1995; Friend & Reising, 1993; Gately & Gately, 2001; Hourcade & Bauwens, 2001; Salend & Duhaney, 1999; Walther-Thomas, Korinek, McLaughlin & Williams, 2000).

Despite the laws and regulations implemented in Turkey regarding performance of inclusion applications duly, it is stated by the studies that the most important problem pertaining to inclusion is the failure to provide adequate special education support services (Akdemir-Okta 2008; Batu, 1998; Diken, 1998; Eripek, 2000; Kargin, Acarlar & Sucuoglu, 2005; Sucuoglu, 2004).

Special education support services possible to be provided in the scope of inclusion are classified as resource room, special education counseling and co-teaching (Dieker & Murawski, 2003; Hourcade & Bauwens, 2001; Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2000; Murawski, 2005; Santamaria & Thousand, 2004; Zigmond, 2001; Zigmond & Magiera, 2001). Co-teaching is defined as the cooperation of general and special education teachers in the same classroom environment through sharing of planning, application, and evaluation responsibilities (Friend & Cook, 2003; Friend & Reising, 1993; Murawski, 2005; Vaughn, Schumm & Arguelles, 1997; Villa, Thousand & Nevin, 2004; Walther-Thomas & Bryant, 1996).

The classification devised by Cook and Friend (1995) with regard to the models of co-teaching approaches is widely accepted and has a large usage area. The models proposed by this definition are: (1) One teach/one assist (or drift), (2) station teaching, (3) parallel teaching, (4) alternative teaching, and (5) team teaching.

Related literature focused on teacher opinions underline that co-teaching approach supports professional development of students. …

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