Definition and characteristics
Co-teaching is an instructional delivery technique, whereby all-purpose and particular instructors divide tasks, such as scheduling, actual delivery, and assessment of instructional approaches for a bevy of learners. Co-teaching involves two or more teachers dedicated to help students achieve both educational and social goals. It integrates elements of partnership and team instruction (Beninghof, 2011). More importantly, co-teaching encourages a lower teacher to student ratio in a bid to increase the quality of education, and be able to meet each student’s educational needs and wants. It demands a high understanding of not only the students’ academic needs but also social needs, which makes it the most reliable approach of teaching students who are disadvantaged in one way or the other (Perez, 2012).
The different approaches of Co-teaching
To achieve desirable results, co-teaching stresses on the use of the following approaches: one teacher and one support whereby the role of one teacher is to plan and teach the class while the other teacher hover in the classroom to help students as per their individual needs. Parallel teaching involves joint planning but split of classroom to teach students the same thing at different venues but at the same time (Beninghof, 2011). On the other hand, alternative teaching entails the work of two teachers whereby one teacher manages the larger part of the class while another manages a small bevy of students within and outside the classroom. Another approach is station teaching, whereby a classroom is divided into a number of small stations with a teacher assigned to manage each station (Perez, 2012). The last technique is team teaching, which requires the involved teachers to plan together and divide instructions and they both teach at the same time and engage students in discussion throughout the session.
The rationale supported by philosophy and research
The rationale behind co-teaching is backed by philosophy and research, which claims that students have various special needs both educational and social needs. Consequently, this demands for an effective approach to ensure effective delivery of teaching in a bid to meet each student at his or her point of need. Certainly, philosophers and research have unveiled the potency of co-teaching as far as achieving quality and effectiveness in delivery of education. As such, there are well-designed and reliable strategies to address co-teaching.
Strategies to address Co-teaching
These include teacher-training, creation of teacher-student nexus, planning and co-planning, understanding the needs of students, establishing lucid rules and regulations, and creation of a good and sustainable climate to enhance effective co-teaching. Training will ensure that teachers are equipped with the basics of co-teaching to be able to plan and co-plan effectively for quality delivery. Creating student-teacher relationship is very crucial because this will enable teacher to understand the needs of each student. This is certainly the best strategy to address co-teaching, as teachers will be able to get to know and associate with students at a personal level. Besides, this will facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for co-teaching to thrive sustainably.
Advantages of Co-teaching Disadvantages of Co-teaching
Below is a table of advantages and disadvantages of co-teaching
|Advantages of Co-teaching||Disadvantages of Co-teaching|
|Has a positive influence on the general student learning||Has an effect of making students carry burdens for one another rather than their own|
|Enables learning of interpersonal and collaborative skills||There is high chances of conflict among students as well as teachers|
|Lower ability learners have the ability to learn from higher ability students||Lower ability students are in perpetual need of help from higher ability learners, which denies them the opportunity to concentrate|
|Creates an egalitarian environment where students feel equal||Higher ability students do not get the nudge to increase their competitive ability because they feel superior all the time|
|There is a high possibility of achieving quality in education||It may encourage redundancy as other teachers or instructors may joyride at the expense of others|
Beninghof, A. M. (2011). Co-Teaching That Works: Structures and Strategies for Maximizing Student Learning. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Perez, K. D. (2012). The Co-Teaching Book of Lists. New York: John Wiley & Sons.