04 SES 10 C, Teachers’ Views I
Parallel Paper Session
The movement toward inclusion is a pedagogical trend based on a deeply held belief that students with disabilities should be members of their learning communities. As a result, students with disabilities are increasingly being educated in mainstream education classes. This movement, however, requires mainstream teachers to use instructional practices that benefit all students. Indeed, Walter-Thomas, Bryant & Land (1996) underline that students with disabilities can achieve academic and social success only if teachers create inclusive learning environments. In response to these current pedagogical trends, an intuitive appeal of co-teaching as a means for improving the inclusion of students with disabilities has emerged. Nowadays, co-teaching is considered a promising and growing practice, which is developed as an instructional means to support students with disabilities in mainstream classes. Co-teaching requires mainstream and special education teachers to share common responsibilities and adopt new roles in order to respond and be able to meet the diverse needs of their students (Weiss & Lloyd 2002).
According to Thousand, Nevin & Villa (2007), co-teaching requires changes in roles and responsibilities of school personnel, planning and administrative support. However, as Fennick & Liddy (2001) indicate, there is little research that provides information on co-teachers’ reciprocal responsibilities and roles with regard to planning and instruction. Also, Friend et al. (2010) underline the misunderstandings about co-teaching and they raise concerns about teachers’ perceptions of their roles and relationships, and the potential impact on co-teaching effectiveness. In line with the above, Dieker (2001) argues that the identification and understanding of co-teachers’ roles and responsibilities is an essential process for both special and mainstream education teachers in order to be effectively engaged in co-teaching. In order for roles and responsibilities to be established, and as Hang and Rabren (2009) support, co-teachers need to resolve issues regarding planning, instruction evaluation and behaviour management. Many researchers (e.g. Fennick & Lindy, 2001; Hang & Rabren) argue for changes in teachers’ traditional responsibilities and classroom practices, and emphasize the need for more data on how mainstream and special education teachers develop their roles in co-taught classrooms. Hence, further research is necessary to clarify co-teachers’ roles and responsibilities.
The aim of this study is to describe co-teachers’ perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in Greek mainstream classrooms. Specifically, the study examines co-teachers’ perceptions with regard to planning, instruction, evaluation and behaviour management for students with and without disabilities. The working research questions are:
Do co-teachers have significantly different perceptions about special education teacher’s role in planning, instruction, evaluation and behaviour modification for all students?
Do co-teachers have significantly different perceptions about mainstream teacher’ role in planning, instruction, evaluation and behaviour modification for students with disabilities?
Does disability type significantly differentiate co-teachers’ perceptions about their roles and responsibilities?
Dieker, L. A. (2001). What are the characteristics of “effective” middle and high school co-taught teams for students with disabilities?, Preventing School Failure, 46, 14–24. Fennick, E., & Liddy, D (2001) Responsibilities and Preparation for collaborative teaching: Co-teachers' perspectives, Teacher Education and Special Education, 24,( 3), 229-240. 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, 9–27. Hang, Q., & Rabren, K. (2009) An examination of co-teaching perspectives and efficacy indicators, Remedial and Special Education, 30(5), 259-268. Thousand, J.S., Nevin, A.I., & Villa, R.A. (2007). Collaborative teaching: a critique of the scientific evidence. In L. Florian (ed.). The Sage Handbook of Special Education. (London, Sage). Thousand, J.S., Villa, R.A., & Nevin, A. I.(2006 ) The many faces of collaborative planning and teaching, Theory into Practice., 45(3), 239-248.
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