04 SES 08 B, Professional Collaboration in Inclusive Schools
For decades there has been considerable interest in collaborative teaching practices such as co-teaching. Since the international movement towards making schooling more inclusive for all, co-teaching been identified as one means of achieving this goal (UNESCO, 1994). While inclusion is generally understood as relating to the diverse learning needs of all students who may experience barriers in their learning (Deppeler, Forlin, Chambers, Sharma & Loreman, 2014; Florian & Spratt, 2013), research on co-teaching in relation to inclusion has tended to focus almost exclusively on students with disabilities and to define co-teaching as the pairing of an “expert” in general curriculum content with an “expert” in special educational practices for students with disabilities (Murawski & Swanston, 2001; Scruggs, Mastropieri & McDuffie, 2007; Shin, Lee & McKenna, 2016). This literature generally positions co-teaching as something that is done to others, and explores the effectiveness of co-teaching as an intervention for specific outcomes such as the school attendance or achievement of students with disabilities (Dieker & Murawski, 2003; Hattie, 2008; Solis, Vaughn, Swanson & Mcculley, 2012;), or the technical execution of co-teaching such as teacher preferences and frequency of engagement with specific models of practice (Saloviita & Takala, 2010; Takala, Pirttimaa & Törmänen, 2009).
By contrast, the wider literature on co-teaching focuses more on aspects of this practice as teacher professionalism. These works tend to explore the role of co-teaching in relation to teachers’ work, such as developing the skills of pre-service teachers (Kerin & Murphy, 2015; Roth & Tobin, 2001), or developing professional practices such as teacher reflection and professional learning (Gallo-Fox & Scantlebury, 2016; Rytivaara & Kershner, 2012). These approaches conceptualise co-teaching as teachers work that is done together to create a supportive environment for all, with benefits for all students and also the teachers themselves. While there exists some literature that considers the benefits of co-teaching for both students and teachers, such as that of Shaffer and Thomas-Brown (2015) these tend to remain focused on students with disabilities.
In this paper we thus seek to explore the practice of co-teaching in inclusive classrooms in Finland by considering teaching teams that include traditional pairings of special-regular teachers as well as others, and exploring how these were supportive for all. We use the Inclusive Pedagogical Approach in Action framework (IPAA) (Florian, 2014; Florian & Spratt, 2013) as a means of theorising our study, as the framework provides useful principles of good inclusive teaching practice for supporting all learners and for supporting effective teacher collaboration in the classroom. Our findings draw from a co-teaching study in which teachers worked together to better support the unique needs of all the students in their classrooms and to also support each other. The teaching teams comprised many pairings that included special education-regular education partnerships as well as others such early childhood and primary teams, and general education teams. Focussing on the nature and development of teacher partnerships we explore how successful co-teaching develops through teachers’ commitment and engagement in such collaborative professional practice. Our research questions are as follows: How do the teachers describe their co-teaching experiences? How do the teachers narrate the development of successful collaboration?
Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (1996). Teachers' professional knowledge landscapes. Educational Researcher 25(3). Deppeler, J., Forlin, C., Chambers, D., Sharma, U., & Loreman, T. (2014). Conceptualising and measuring inclusive education. In T. Loreman & C. Forlin (Eds.), Measuring Inclusive Education (Vol. 3, pp. 3-17). UK: Emerald. Dieker, L. A., & Murawski, W. W. (2003). Co-teaching at the secondary level. The High School Journal, 86(4). Florian, L. (2014). What counts as evidence of inclusive education? European Journal of Special Needs Education, 29(3). Florian, L., & Spratt, J. (2013). Enacting inclusion: A framework for interrogating inclusive practice. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 28(2). Gallo-Fox, J., & Scantlebury, K. (2015). “It isn’t necessarily sunshine and daisies every time”: co-planning opportunities and challenges when student teaching. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4). Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge. Kerin, M., & Murphy, C. (2015). Exploring the impact of co-teaching on pre-service music teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4). Murawski, W. W., & Swanson, H. L. (2001). A meta-analysis of co-teaching research. Remedial and Special Education, 22(5). Polkinghorne, D. E. (1995). Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. In J. A. Hatch, & R. Wisniewski (Eds.), Life history and narrative (pp. 5–23). London: Falmer. Riessman, C.K. (2008) Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences. Sage. Roth, W. M., & Tobin, K. (2001). Learning to teach science as practice. TATE, 17(6). Rytivaara, A., & Kershner, R. (2012). Co-teaching as a context for teachers' professional learning and joint knowledge construction. TATE, 28(7), 999-1008. Saloviita, T., & Takala, M. (2010). Frequency of co-teaching in different teacher categories. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25(4). Scruggs, T. E., Mastropieri, M. A., & McDuffie, K. A. (2007). Co-teaching in inclusive classrooms: A metasynthesis of qualitative research. Exceptional Children, 73(4). Shaffer, L., & Thomas-Brown, K. (2015). Enhancing Teacher Competency through Co-Teaching and Embedded Professional Development. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3(3). Shin, M., Lee, H., & McKenna, J. W. (2016). Special education and general education preservice teachers’ co-teaching experiences: A comparative synthesis of qualitative research. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(1). Solis, M., Vaughn, S., Swanson, E., & Mcculley, L. (2012). Collaborative models of instruction. Psychology in the Schools, 49(5). Takala, M., Pirttimaa, R., & Törmänen, M. (2009). Inclusive special education: the role of special education teachers in Finland. BJSE, 36(3). UNESCO. (1994). The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action.
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.