collaboration that makes a difference
Educ. 501
Brian Verwolf
Co-Teaching is…
O Simultaneous instruction, with a
diverse group of students
O Done with two or more teachers
O Instruction within the same physical
O Done in a coordinated fashion
O needs to be pre-planned
O involved collaboration
Co-Teaching is…
O A vehicle for school communities to
move from feelings of isolation to
feelings of community and
O A method to meet the diverse needs
of all students in the same classroom
O A supportive and collaborative
practice among professionals
Co-Teaching is not…
O one person teaching one subject,
followed by another who teaches a
different subject
O one person teaching while another is
off using the Xerox machine in the
teacher’s lounge
O an assignment of someone to act as
a tutor.
What does Research Say?
O A study centered on the infusion of language
skills (vocab, phonemic awareness) in urban
kindergarten settings found that ELL students
and native English speakers in a co-taught
classroom (classroom teacher and an SLP)
showed significantly greater gains than those in
traditional classrooms.
(Hadley, Simmerman, Long, and Luna, 2000)
What does Research Say?
O A Georgia middle school found that students
with and without disabilities showed
significant increases on standardized tests
in math and language arts after 2 years of
co-teaching. In addition, there was a
significant decrease in the numbers of
students with chronic attendance problems.
(Burns, 2010)
Student Benefits
O Children with disabilities have access to
general education curriculum
O Reduces stigma often associated with
“pull-out” model
O Helps build stronger peer relations
O Actually increases individualized
O Enhances academic performance
Teacher Benefits
O Provides opportunity for professional growth
O Forum to share knowledge, skills and
resources with peers
O Teachers in a resource role have more
opportunity to increase understanding of
the general curriculum and classroom
O Behavior Management
Teacher Benefits (cont.)
O Builds repertoire as to how to adapt
curriculum and/or modify the level of
instruction to meet needs of students
O Promotes collaborative practice between
O Can increase communication between
classroom teachers and teachers in a
resource role
“One size does not fit all. Although co-teaching
seems to be a promising practice, this does not
mean that every student can have his/her
educational needs met this way.”
Kohler-Evans (2006)
O Co-teaching isn't recommended for
every situation. It works very well for:
Student-teaching, inclusion situations,
and other areas where need is greatest.
General Challenges
O Lack of planning and organization
O Planning time together
O Relationship factors
O Administrative support
O Continuous investment of time
O Fear of change
O Poor communication
O Definition of roles/following roles
O Lead and Support
O Duet
O Speak and Add/Chart
O Skills Group
O Station Teaching
O Learning Style
O Parallel Teaching
O Adapting
O Complementary Instruction
Lead and Support Model
Teacher A
o Is always the classroom teacher
o Primarily responsible for planning a unit of
Teacher B
o Is the teacher in a resource role
o Shares in delivery, monitoring and evaluation
Duet Model
Teacher A and Teacher B
o Both teachers plan and design the
o Teachers take turns delivering various
components of the lesson
Speak and Add/Chart Model
Teacher A
o Primary responsibility for designing
and delivering
Teacher B
o Adds and expands with questions,
rephrasing, anecdotes
o Records key information on charts,
transparencies, screen or board
Skills Group Model
Teacher A and Teacher B
o Students are divided into 2-4 groups
based on instructional need
o Each teacher takes primary
responsibility for half the class
o Teachers may switch groups
Station Teaching Model
Teacher A
o Responsibility for overall instruction
Teacher B
o Teaches small specific skills students
have not mastered
Learning Style Model
Teacher A and Teacher B
o Both teachers share in the design and
delivery of instruction
o One teacher is primarily responsible
for auditory and visual instruction
o One teacher is primarily responsible
for tactile and kinesthetic instruction
Parallel Teaching Model
Teacher A and Teacher B
o Both teachers plan and design
o Class split into two groups
o Each teacher takes a group for the
entire lesson
Adapting Model
Teacher A
o Responsible for planning and
delivering a unit of instruction
Teacher B
o Determines and provides adaptations
for students who are struggling
Complementary Instruction Model
Teacher A
o Responsible for delivering core
Teacher B
o Responsible for delivering related
instruction in areas of study and
survival skills
Stages to Co-Teaching
O Beginning Stage
O Compromising Stage
O Collaborative Stage
Collaboration Stage is the
O Physical arrangement
O Familiarity with curriculum
O Curriculum goals and modification to level of
O Instructional presentation
O Classroom management
O Assessment
Collaboration Won’t Just
O Deliberate
O Structured
O Systematic
O Ongoing
Steele, Bell, & George (2005)
“The practice of co-teaching has the
potential to be a wonderful strategy for
meeting the needs of all students. Working
in partnership with another teacher,
bouncing ideas off of one another, planning
and orchestrating the perfect lesson, having
two pair of eyes and four hands, creating
something that is better than that which
each partner brings …what better way to
Kohler-Evans (2006)
Co-Teaching Resources
O A Guide to Co-Teaching: Practical Tips for
Facilitating Student Learning (Villa,
Thousand, & Nevin, 2004)
The Co-Teaching Manual (Basson & McCoy,
Co-Teaching Lesson Planning Book (Dieker,
Guidebook for the Magiera-Simmons Quality
Indicator Model of Co-Teaching (Magiera &
Simmons, 2005)
O Lawton, M. (1999). Co-Teaching: Are Two Heads
Better Than One in an Inclusion Classroom?
Harvard Education Letter.
O Literature Review – Saskatchewan Ministry of
O Professional Development Modules
O Wagaman, J. (2008). Co-Teaching for Success with
Special Needs Child – Teachers Working Together
for Student Achievement.

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