A case study of co-teaching between a regular education teacher and a special education teacher in an elementary school
Teacher isolation continues to be a product of a strong school culture belief system that creates a professional challenge for educators attempting inclusive educational practices, particularly co-teaching partnerships between special education teachers and regular education teachers (Friend & Cook, 2004.) This case study specifically looked to understand how school culture influences co teaching collaboration efforts between a special education teacher and an elementary education teacher (Schein, 2004) where inclusive practices are implemented that have a positive impact on student learning for all students, especially students with disabilities. The study illustrates that it is possible to eliminate a traditional two track educational system between regular education and special education and to create an integrated culture where the two became fused as one. This elementary school was assigned a principal who believed a supportive school culture was best for students, teachers, and support staff and took this opportunity to create a more inclusive and collaborative environment. With the emphasis on inclusion, the principal fostered staff buy-in and established ownership with the staff by helping them focus on how to provide differentiated instruction to all students in regular education classes, including students with disabilities (Zigmond, 2001). In this collaborative school environment, a co-teaching partnership between a special education teacher and a 5th grade elementary teacher is considered to be a successful partnership. Having two highly qualified teachers willing to change how they teach in order to provide differentiated instruction and interventions helps meet the individual needs of the diverse student population in this 5th grade regular education classroom.
Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 134-141)