04 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
As part of the ratification of the UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009, efforts for an adequate organization for inclusive education have intensified. Inclusive education has to be tailored to meet students’ learning prerequisites individually. Sole teacher presence in the inclusive classroom does not cope with the challenging requirements of a heterogenous class, in order to perform effectively and resulting in promoting learning conditions for the students. Interviewed teachers and teams who practice inclusive education state that inclusion and (inter-)professional collaboration are inextricably linked with each other (Lütje-Klose & Urban, 2014). Consequently, teachers face the challenge to implement interprofessional collaboration in their lessons, a quality characteristic for inclusive education (Werning, 2012).
Collaboration is a foundational instrument to offer high-quality services where each person carries out the tasks necessary to achieve objectives and is engaged in a collective effort and shared decision-making process to achieve a common goal (Conoley & Conoley, 2010; Cook & Friend, 1991). In our study interprofessional collaboration refers to mutual exchange of expertise, ideas, and interests among primary school teachers and special education teachers to enhance the quality of teaching, ergo promoting students’ performance (Dettmer, Thurston, & Dyck, 1996). Fostering pre-service teachers’ interdisciplinary qualifications is an inevitable aspect of successful (inter-)collaboration. Research provides evidence that, for example teachers’ self-centered cognitions stand in reciprocal relation to collaboration, which our study aims to support (Hamman, Lechtenberger, Griffin-Shirley, & Zhou, 2013; Pugach, 2005).
This shows that mere collaboration does not guarantee proficient inclusive education, teachers’ personal convictions are one of the main factors for success in cooperative work, since they are intertwined with the self-concept, which Shavelson, Hubner and Stanton (1976) broadly define as a person’s perceptions of him- or herself. Especially interprofessional collaboration serves as an important prerequisite to foster self-concepts and collaborative structures for trainee teachers. Numerous studies indicate a correlation between teacher collaboration and self-centered cognitions regarding inclusive education. According to Pugach (2005), it seems plausible that pre-service teachers derive information from collaboration which would affect their self-efficacy for inclusion teaching. This can also be substantiated by the study of Kunnari, Ilomäki and Toom (2018). Their results reveal the positive effect of collaboration in interprofessional teams regarding teachers’ personal convictions. Research from Hamman, Lechtenberger, Griffin-Shirley and Zhou (2013) gives evidence that humans’ self-centered cognitions have a positive effect on their willingness to cooperate. Thus, it can be assumed that teachers with a highly pronounced self-concept regarding collaboration teach more efficiently in inclusive education than teachers who have less faith in their own abilities. Striving for everybody’s social participation in school makes a development of collaborative relations crucial (Lütje-Klose & Urban, 2014).
A positive self-concept is widely valued as a desirable outcome and that is one of the reasons why teacher education seeks to improve pre-service teachers’ self-centered cognitions (Marsh & Craven, 2006). However, research is lacking the analysis of results regarding a correlation between interprofessional collaboration and the self-concept. Increasing the quantity and quality of research on teacher collaboration might foster this (Friend, Cook, Hurley-Chamberlain & Shamberger, 2010.)
Based on the theoretical background and regarding the described findings, we assume that pre-service teachers’ who work on a learning unit in interprofessional teams (trainee teachers for primary school and trainee teachers for special education) develop a higher self-concept in relation to their collaboration with other colleagues, as well as on their planning and teaching in inclusive education than pre-service teachers’ who work in intra-professional teams (trainee teachers for primary school or trainee teachers for special education).
A quantitative study with a quasi-experimental design is used to research N = 240 trainee teachers’ (trainee teachers for primary school and trainee teachers for special education) self-concept in relation to collaboration in interprofessional teams. Participants work in groups of two, paired off in one experimental group (n=80) and two control groups (n= 80). The control groups consist of intra-professional pairs (trainee teachers for primary school or trainee teachers for special education), while the experimental group is formed by interprofessional dyads (trainee teachers for primary school and trainee teachers for special education). Furthermore, tandems within the different groups distinguish in the way they are assembled. Pairs are either arranged randomly or are made up of two students who choose each other. The different groups will each participate in three modules within the frame of a seminar. In module 1, participants receive an introduction to cooperative work. Instructors teach fundamental elements of co-teaching, “the sharing of instruction by a general education teacher and a special education teacher or another specialist in a general education class that includes students with disabilities“ (Friend, Cook, Hurley-Chamberlain & Shamberger, 2010, p. 9), over a period of approximately 180 minutes. According to Frey and Kaff (2014), an introduction to cooperative work in academic discourse fosters teacher trainees’ knowledge regarding collaborative structures in inclusive settings. Based on this, participants will diagnose learning conditions of third- and fourth-graders with the help of video material in module 2. In the last module, the students will then teach in pairs an inclusive study group of six children in science class in elementary school, over a period of three lessons. Within the scope of the quantitative part of the study, participants will be asked to fill in Likert-type questionnaires about their self-concept in connection with planning and teaching inclusive education (10 items, e.g. “I assume that I am good at planning and executing inclusive education.”), as well as collaborating with other teachers in inclusive education (10 items, e.g. “I assume that I am good at collaborating with other teachers.”) before, during and after the learning unit. The scales used were adapted by Schöne, Dickhäuser, Spinath and Stiensmeier-Pelster (2002). Corresponding items were each modified and adapted to match the individual prerequisites of the research project.
Since teacher education has not kept pace with recent demands and reformations, our study intends to improve primary school trainee teachers’ and special education trainee teachers’ professionalization regarding interprofessional collaborative structures in inclusive education, as well as their self-concept. Idealistically, this promotes students’ quality of education, which we hope to foster through our implementation. Our quasi-experimental study design seeks to reveal intra-individual, as well as inter-individual changes concerning trainee teachers’ collaboration and self-concepts. Based on the study from Urban and Lütje-Klose (2014) we assume, that individuals who are willing to cooperate, positively affect collaboration. Furthermore, we expect pairs who picked each other consensually to cooperate more effectively regarding inclusive education than pairs who have been put together randomly. In addition to that, we expect consensually assembled pairs’ self-centered cognitions to be more positively affected than those of dyads who have been randomly arranged. With regard to Hamman, Lechtenberger, Griffin-Shirley and Zhou (2013) we anticipate pre-service teachers in interprofessional teams to develop a more positive self-concept than intra-professional pairs. Expertise from two different professions does not only meet the needs of a diverse class more effectively, it also boosts team-partners’ self-centered cognitions. Since the team-partners of the interprofessional dyads are each specialized in a certain topic, the allocation of tasks is clear and structured, partners can complement each other (Frey & Kaff, 2014). Summarizing, our collaborative training unit intends to strengthen the bond especially between trainee teachers for primary schools and trainee teachers for special education regarding their attitude towards collaboration. Thus, we are convinced to trigger the development of their self-concepts regarding planning and executing inclusive education as well as collaborating with other teachers.
Conoley, J. C., & Conoley, C. W. (2010). Why does collaboration work? Linking positive psychology and collaboration. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 20(1), 75–82. Cook, L., & Friend, M. (1991). Principles for the practice of collaboration in schools. Preventing School Failures, 35(4), 6–9. Dettmer, P., Thurston, L., & Dyck, N. (1996). Consultation, collaboration, teamwork for students with special needs. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Frey, L. M. & Kaff, M. S. (2014). Results of co-teaching instruction to special education teacher candidates in Tanzania. Journal of the International Association of Special Education, 15(1), 4–15. Friend, M., Cook, L., Hurley-Chamberlain, D., & Shamberger, C. (2010). Co-Teaching: An illustration of the complexity of collaboration in special education. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 20(1), 9–27. Hamman, D., Lechtenberger, D., Griffin-Shirley, N., & Zhou, L. (2013). Beyond exposure to collaboration: Preparing general-education teacher candidates for inclusive practice. The Teacher Educator, 48(4), 244–256. Kunnari, I., Ilomäki, L., & Toom, A. (2018). Successful Teacher Teams in Change: The role of collective efficacy and resilience. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(1), 111–126. Lütje-Klose, B. & Urban, M. (2014). Kooperation als wesentliche Bedingung inklusiver Schul- und Unterrichtsentwicklung. Teil 1: Grundlagen und Modelle inklusiver Kooperation. [Cooperation as essential condition for inclusive education development. Part 1: Basics and models of inclusive cooperation.]. Vierteljahresschrift für Heilpädagogik und ihre Nachbargebiete, 83, 112–123. Marsh, H. W., & Craven, R. G. (2006). Reciprocal effects of self-concept and performance from a multidimensional perspective: Beyond seductive pleasure and unidimensional perspectives. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2), 133–163. Pugach, M. C. (2005). Research on preparing general education teachers to work with students with disabilities. In M. Cochran-Smith & K. M. Zeichner (Eds.), Studying teacher education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education (pp. 549–590). Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Schöne, C., Dickhäuser, O., Spinath, B., & Stiensmeier-Pelster, J. (2002). SESSKO. Skalen zur Erfassung des schulischen Selbstkonzepts [SESSKO. Scales capturing academic self-concept]. Göttingen: Hogrefe. Shavelson, R. J., Hubner, J. J., & Stanton, G. C. (1976). Self-Concept: Validation of construct interpretations. Review of Educational Research, 46(3), 407–441. Werning, R. (2012). Inklusive Schulentwicklung [Inclusive School Development]. In V. Moser (Ed.), Die inklusive Schule. Standards für die Umsetzung [The Inclusive School. Standards for Implementation] (pp. 49–67). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
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