04 SES 08 B, Professional Collaboration
Developing inclusive schools and enhancing corresponding professional development is one important challenge for educational practice, policy and research. Inclusion addresses questions of dealing with diversity in educational settings (Werning/Löser 2010; Ainscow et al. 2006). Teacher collaboration is regarded to be important for professional and school development (Idel et al. 2012) and associated with student success (Wallace et al. 2002), especially with regard to professional learning communities (Lomos et al. 2012). Friend et al. (2010, 23) point out “that through collaboration professionals can create innovative options within a single system of education that is more responsive to the diversity of today’s learners.” At the same time, further educational research is needed to understand teacher collaboration and its innovative potential (ibid.; Schwager 2011).
Looking at the discussion on collaboration between general and special education teachers, shared perspectives as well as difference are emphasized: On the one hand, teacher collaboration is closely linked to commonality and shared perspectives: Hence, there’s an emphasis on mutual goals (Friend/Cook 2010) and shared understandings. On the other hand, the difference of general and special education teachers related to distinct professional development is highlighted: General education teachers are trained “to ‘see the forest’”, while special educators “are taught to ‘see the trees’” (Murawski 2009, 41 cited by Schwager 2011, 95). Hence, “the significant difference in the areas of expertise” (Friend et al. 2010, 15) is emphasized. While also related to potential conflict, Skidmore (1999, 651) argues for a dialogue between divergent perspectives “as an important motor” for school development.
Against this backdrop, this paper presents results of an ongoing dissertation project (thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Rolf Werning). This focuses on the social construction of shared perspectives and difference within the collaboration of general and special education teachers in the context of team meetings: How are shared perspectives constructed during the meeting? In which ways is difference relevant and how is it negotiated? The study aims to develop an empirical grounded analysis and, by thus, to contribute to a deeper understanding of collaboration of general and special education teachers in the context of inclusive education
Collaboration is understood as a “descriptive term” (Kelchtermans 2006, 221). Since collaboration happens in a “particular context” (ibid.), not only the interpersonal (Friend/ Cook 2010) and individual, but also institutional dimensions have to be considered (Lütje-Klose/Willenbring 1999).
With respect to the context of team meetings, previous research indicated the lack of common planning time (e.g. Scruggs et al. 2007; Friend et al. 2010; Arndt/Werning 2013). However, collaboration outside the classroom influences the collaboration within the classroom (Arndt/Werning 2013). For instance, Gurgur and Uzuner (2011) point out that co-teaching approaches like “one teach/one assist” require less common planning.
The importance of focussing on team meetings can also be related to research on team meetings of different professionals in whole-day-schools: these are relevant for decision-making and there a distinct ways in which professionals relate to each other (Reh/Breuer 2013).
Ainscow,M. et al. (2006). Improving schools, developing inclusion. London. Arndt,A.;Werning,R. (2013). Unterrichtsbezogene Kooperation von Regelschullehrkräften und Lehrkräften für Sonderpädagogik. In Werning,R.;Arndt,A. (Eds.), Inklusion: Kooperation und Unterricht entwickeln. Bad Heilbrunn, 12-40. Artiles,A.J. (1998). The dilemma of difference. The Journal of Special Education, 32-36. Artiles,A.;Dyson,A. (2005) Inclusive education in the globalization age. In Mitchell, D. (Ed.), Contextualizing Inclusive Education. Oxfordshire, 37-62. Flick,U. (1997). The episodic interview. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/methodology/pdf/QualPapers/Flick-episodic.pdf Friend,M. et al. (2010). Co-Teaching: An Illustration of the Complexity of Collaboration in Special Education. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation (1), 9-27 Friend,M.;Cook,L. (2010). Interactions (6th ed.). Boston. Gurgur,H.;Uzuner,Y. (2011). Examining the implementation of two co-teaching models: team teaching and station teaching. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 589-61. Huber, S.G.;Ahlgrimm, F. (Eds.), Kooperation. Aktuelle Forschung zur Kooperation in und zwischen Schulen sowie mit anderen Partnern. Münster. Idel,T.-S;Ullrich,H.;Baum,E. (2012). Kollegialität und Kooperation in der Schule. In Baum,E; Idel,T.-S.; Ullrich,H. (Eds.), Kollegialität und Kooperation in der Schule. Wiesbaden, 9-25. Kelchtermans,G. (2006). Teacher collaboration and collegiality as workplace conditions. A review. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 220-237 Lomos,C.;Hofman,R.H.;Bosker, R. J. (2012). The concept of professional community and its relationship with student performance. In Huber, S.G.;Ahlgrimm, F. (Eds.), 51-68. Lütje-Klose,B.;Willenbring,M. (1999). "Kooperation fällt nicht vom Himmel". Behindertenpädagogik (1), 2-31. Rapley,T. (2007). Doing conversation, discourse and document analysis. Los Angeles. Reh,S.;Breuer,A. (2012). Positionierungen in interprofessionellen Teams. In Huber,S.G.;Ahlgrimm,F. (Eds.), 185-201. Schwager,M. (2011). Gemeinsames Unterrichten im Gemeinsamen Unterricht. Zeitschrift für Heilpädagogik, (3), 92-98 Scruggs,T.E.;Mastropieri,M.A.;McDuffie,K.A. (2007). Co-Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms. Exceptional Children, 92-415. Skidmore,D. (1999). Divergent Discourses of Learning Difficulty. British Educational Research Journal, 651-663 Strauss, A.L.;Corbin,J.M. (2003). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks. Wallace,T.;Anderson,A.R.;Bartholomay,T. (2002). Collaboration: An Element Associated With the Success of Four Inclusive High Schools. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 349-381. Werning,R.;Löser,J.M. (2010). Inklusion: aktuelle Diskussionslinien. Die deutsche Schule, 103-114.
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