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Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator


Edited By Scot Danforth

Inclusive education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance in the United States. However, most teachers – general and special educators – are poorly prepared to be successful in inclusive classrooms and schools. Undoubtedly, the challenge to professionals involves the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But inclusion requires far more. It calls upon educators to trouble everything they think they know about disability, to question their deepest ethical commitments, to take up the work of the Disability Rights Movement in the public schools, and to leap headlong into the deepest waters of the rich craft tradition of inclusive teaching. This book offers educators the guidance and resources to become great inclusive educators by engaging in a powerful process of personal and professional transformation.
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Chapter 5: Collaboration and Co-teaching


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Collaboration and Co-teaching

Guiding Question

•How can you collaborate and co-teach with general and special education colleagues?

Inclusion must view teaching as a finely crafted group enterprise and no longer the classical one-teacher-per-class model. (Gerber, 2012, p. 77, italics original)

In 1996, First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote a book called It Takes a Village. Expanding on the well-known proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” Clinton articulated a vision of childhood involving more than just the conventional two parents or the less traditional single parent providing the guidance and love to the growing child. In order to grow up safe, healthy, and learned, a child needs teaching, nurturance, and support from many people in the family and community.

Similarly, inclusive education frames teaching as more than a single teacher standing at a chalkboard in front of a class of students. Waldron and Van Zandt Allen (1999) proclaim, “The days of the lonely teacher are over” (p. 19). The traditional picture of a solitary teacher who directs a classroom of students through a ← 101 | 102 → learning activity identical in content and process for all is replaced by a more social and complex vision of teaching and learning. In inclusive schools, the individual student is viewed as learning social and academic lessons from multiple adults as well as from classmates. Simply put, the adults (teachers, teacher’s...

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