Teaching pre-service teachers co-teaching: An interactive co-teaching training protocol
Lam, Pik Wah
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In recent years, under the influence and encouragement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), there has been an increase in inclusive practices in general education contexts. Due to the resulting higher numbers of students with disabilities being educated in general education settings, there has also been a rise in the use of co-teaching in kindergarten through twelfth grade classrooms. The effectiveness of co-teaching has been studied, yet the results remain inconclusive. Although various factors may contribute to the mixed results on the effectiveness of co-teaching, many attribute these incongruencies to a lack of training in pre-service teacher education programs. Co-teaching is not a topic required in all teacher education programs and is often only briefly discussed in courses designed to teach collaborative teaching. Research has suggested that increased training in co-teaching practices enhances proper implementation which can lead to positive outcomes. A need to develop an effective, research-based co-teaching training for pre-service teachers has been clearly shown in the field. The purpose of this study was to develop a research-based co-teaching training protocol for pre-service teachers in a southwest university and to evaluate the effectiveness of the training protocol. Over 150 pre-service teachers were trained in this study. The results suggested that the training protocol was effective in enhancing pre-service teachers’ knowledge, confidence, and positive perception of co-teaching. Potential limitations and implications of the study findings for further research and applied practice in the field were discussed.