Dance Lessons: Preparing Preservice Teachers for Coteaching Partnerships

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona]On: 28 October 2014, At: 01:17Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: MortimerHouse, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Action in Teacher EducationPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>Dance Lessons: Preparing Preservice Teachers forCoteaching PartnershipsAudra Parker PhD a , Patricia Alvarez McHatton a , Diedre Allen a &amp; Leila Rosa aa University of South Florida , USAPublished online: 02 Jan 2012.</p><p>To cite this article: Audra Parker PhD , Patricia Alvarez McHatton , Diedre Allen &amp; Leila Rosa (2010) DanceLessons: Preparing Preservice Teachers for Coteaching Partnerships, Action in Teacher Education, 32:1, 26-38, DOI:10.1080/01626620.2010.10463540</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content)contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensorsmake no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitabilityfor any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinionsand views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy ofthe Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources ofinformation. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands,costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial orsystematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution inany form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>Dance Lessons : Preparing Preserwice Teachers for Coteaching Partnerships Audra Parker Patricia Alvarez McHatton Diedre A l l e n Leila Rosa University of South Florida </p><p>ABSTRACT: Federal legislation (Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act, No Child Left Behind) mandates access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities. As a response, K-12 schools are moving to coteaching models with increased frequency (National Center for Education Statistics, 2008). However, preservice teachers have not been adequately prepared for collaborative teaching in these inclusive classrooms (Dieker &amp; Murawski, 2003; Fennick &amp; Liddy, 2001). To address this disconnect, we participated in an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental collaboration to create shared course and field experi- ences for a mixed group of special education and elementary education preservice teachers. Using our blogs, reflections, personal observations, meeting notes, and recorded discussions along with students reflections and course assignments, we provide an analysis of the experi- ence and implications for teacher educators. </p><p>Coteaching is a seamless dance between both teachers, sharing the students ;IS their dance partner a t the same time . . . with each teacher trying not to step on the other ones foot. </p><p>-Special education preservice teacher participating in coteaching project </p><p>(January 2009) </p><p>With recent legislative mandates-Individu- als With Disahilities Education Improvement Act and No Child Left Behind+alling for improved access to the K-12 curriculum by students with disabilities and with the emer- gence of response to intervention as a tiered approach for assisting struggling learners via high-quality instruction in the general educa- tion setting (Batsce et al., ZOOS), there is an in- creased emphasis on ensuring effective instruc- tion for all students (Pierangelo &amp; Giuliani, 2008). Because students with disabilities and </p><p>struggling learners are spending larger quanti- ties of time in the general education setting, the roles of general educators and special edu- cators in K-12 classrooms are being redefined. One outcome is the increased collaboration required between both groups as they work together in increasingly inclusive classrcmms to ensure positive outcomes for all learners (Na- tional Association of State I k c t o r s of Special Education, 2002; Presidents Commission on Excellence in Special Education, 2002). </p><p>One approach to supporting special edu- cation students in inclusive classrooms is to pair general education and special education teachers in coteaching partnerships. Coteach- ing is when two o r more professionals jointly deliver substantive instruction to a diverse, or hlended, group of students in a single physical space (Cook 6, Friend, 1995, p. 1). Research suggests that coteaching is an effective inoJel for providing a supportive instructional en- </p><p>Address correspondence to Audra Parker, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, EDU 105, Tampa, FL 33620-5650. E-mail: </p><p>26 Action in Teucher Educution Vol. 32, No. 1 </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>idad</p><p> Aut</p><p>onom</p><p>a de</p><p> Bar</p><p>celo</p><p>na] </p><p>at 0</p><p>1:17</p><p> 28 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>DanceLessons 27 </p><p>vironment for students with disabilities in a general education setting (Pugach &amp; Johnson, 1995; Rice &amp; Zigmond, 2000). In inclusive classrooms, students with and without disabili- ties experience positive outcomes, including increased benefits both social (e.g., coopera- tion) and academic (Austin, 2001; Rice &amp; Zig- mond, 2000). Furthermore, general and special education teachers report positive attitudes about coteaching, particularly as it relates to their professional development (Austin, 2001; Fennick &amp; Liddy, 2001; Scruggs, Mastropieri, &amp; McDuffie, 2007). </p><p>Although it is likely that teachers will be asked to work in collaborative partnerships in inclusive settings, preservice teachers- particularly, general education majors- describe feeling unprepared for this possibility (Fennick &amp; Liddy, 2001; Sack, 1998; Welch, 1996). To address this disconnect, teacher edu- cators are seeking new ways to model collabo- ration and provide preservice teachers with op- portunities to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills requisite for working collaboratively in increasingly inclusive classroom settings (Dieker &amp;I Murawski, 2003; Villa, Thousand, &amp; Chapple, 2000). Our purpose is to describe a cross-departmental collaboration created to bridge the experiences of general and special education preservice teachers and provide a context for coteaching at the preservice level. We begin by providing a brief explanation of the cross-departmental partnership and the design of the coteaching experience. This is followed by a description of the experiences of faculty and preservice general and special edu- cation teachers, as related to key understand- ings from the literature on coteaching. We close with implications for teacher educators. </p><p>Choreographing the Dance: A Description of the Coteaching Project </p><p>Envisioning the Dance </p><p>Faculty in the Department of Special Educa- tion and the Department of Childhood Educa- </p><p>tion and Literacy Studies conceptualized this project in fall 2008 during informal conversa- tions in a cross-departmental meeting. Fund- ing provided by an Office of Special Educa- tion Programs 325T initiative facilitated these conversations. During the meeting, faculty discovered similarities between separate class- room management courses that were indepen- dently offered in the programs. A project team formed to explore collaborative and coteach- ing possibilities for the courses in the follow- ing semester. We, the project team, consisted of four members: one faculty member and one doctoral graduate assistant in the elementary education program and one faculty member and one doctoral graduate assistant in the special education program. Each team mem- ber had extensive experience with classroom management courses at the university level and had successful coteaching experiences in K-12 inclusive settings. </p><p>During our initial meetings, two key goals emerged that guided the overall design of the coteaching project. First, we wanted to place a group of elementary majors and a cohort of special education students together in one cotaught university-based classroom management course. Understanding that the success (or failure) of inclusion largely de- pends on teachers dispositions toward inclu- sion (Shade &amp; Stewart, 2001), we thought it critical to create a shared course experience that scaffolded preservice teachers experi- ences with and dispositions toward coteaching before entering the profession. The common course experience allowed us to model vari- ous coteaching structures for the preservice teachers-namely, one-teach-one-assist, sta- tion teaching, parallel teaching, alternative teaching, and team teaching (Friend &amp;I Cook, 2003; Scruggs et al., 2007; Walther-Thomas, Korinek, McLaughlin, &amp; Williams, 2000). In addition, the shared course provided a forum for reciprocal learning across the majors, and it enabled us to tap into the expertise of the elementary and special education preservice teachers. </p><p>Our second goal was to create coteach- ing opportunities in inclusive K-5 classmms. This real-world application was essential to the </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>idad</p><p> Aut</p><p>onom</p><p>a de</p><p> Bar</p><p>celo</p><p>na] </p><p>at 0</p><p>1:17</p><p> 28 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>28 AUDRA PARKER ET AL. </p><p>project for the following reasons. First, preser- vice teachers need opportunities to work with students with disabilities. Next, we believed that an emphasis on consultation, collabora- tion, and problem solving at the preservice level could ameliorate teacher anxiety and facilitate positive shifts in attitudes toward in- clusion (Gkangreco, Edelman, &amp; Dennis, 1991, as cited by Shade &amp; Stewart, 2001; Kamens, 2007; Shippen, Crites, Houchins, Ramsey, &amp; Simon, 2005). Also, because inclusive ex- periences must be authentic and field based and should involve special education and general education preservice teachers (Austin, 2001; Cook &amp; Friend, 1995), we thought it important to tie a field experience course to the respective classroom management courses. Taking it a step further, we also wanted to cre- ate coteaching pairs of elementary and special education majors. The creation of a multilay- ered approach-the preservice teachers expe- riencing coteaching as students and practicing coteaching as interns in a field experience- allowed us to build their understanding of a new construct (coteaching) while creating situations that paralleled the roles they tnay encounter as they enter the teaching profes- sion (Winn &amp; Blanton, 1997). </p><p>Arranging the Steps </p><p>After a semester of planning, the coteaching project began in spring 2009. The student population for the project included 29 ele- mentary education majors and 27 special edu- cation majors. Note that the elementary edu- cation majors are part of a large program that enrolls approximately 150 new students each semester. They did not follow a structured course sequence, but the majority were in their 1st year in the program. Upon graduation, the elementary education majors are certified to teach students in Grades K-6. In contrast, the special education inajors progressed through their program as a single cohort of 27, formed in the fall before the projects implementation. These students took all their courses together and followed a structured course sequence. The special education program provides ini- tial certification for its graduates to work with </p><p>students with mild and moderate disabilities in K-I2 classrtmms. </p><p>Our first class meetings with the students were a series of all-day introductory seminars. Special education majors attended four semi- nars on Mondays and Tuesdays for the first 2 weeks, and the elementary education majors joined them for two sessions on Tuesdays only. These seminar meeting days mirrored the days that the preservice teachers would spend in K-5 classrooms for the reinainder of the semester. During the joint group seminars, we conducted some initial team-building ac- tivities across the two groups. These included getting to know you icebreakers, sharing our personal school memories, assessing our initial perceptions of coteaching, and identifying common goals across the two groups. We also built a fcudational understanding of coteach- ing using the research literature, discussed the co\laborative project, and relayed the instruc- tors expectations. At the end of these initial seminars, we paired each elementary educa- tion major with a special education major based on rankings of geographical preferences for the semester-long field experience. </p><p>O n Wednesday evenings, all preservice teachers and course instructors came together for a 3-hour classroom management course. Each week we designed classrcmn activities to enhance the preservice teachers understand- ings of classroom management, instructional planning, differentiated instruction, coteach- ing, response to intervention, and students with disabilities. The two faculty members on the project team cotaught the tnajority of the Wednesday night course instruction. How- ever, at times we split the class by major to ad- dress assignments o r course objectives unique to the two management courses. For example, in addition to having classroom inanagement objectives, the course for elementary educa- tion majors had objectives related to planning instruction, whereas the special education majors had course objectives related to devel- oping interventions for students with more significant behavior issues. To address these course-specific objectives, we met as a whole group for half the class and separated by major for the second half. </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>idad</p><p> Aut</p><p>onom</p><p>a de</p><p> Bar</p><p>celo</p><p>na] </p><p>at 0</p><p>1:17</p><p> 28 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>DanceLessuns 29 </p><p>Table 1. Coteaching Partnerships by School </p><p>Majors Inclusion </p><p>School EE SE FullDay PartialDay Nones No Partner </p><p>6 10 2 0 4 4 6 4 </p><p>0 0 4 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 0 </p><p>Note. EE = elementaty elementary; SE = special education. </p><p>Self-contained. </p><p>The field experience began during the 3rd week of the semester. Because of program differences, the special education majors were in the field 2 days a week (Monday and Tues- day), and the elementary education majors were in the field 1 day a week (Tuesday). The nature of the f...</p></li></ul>


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