Co-Taught Classrooms

Co-teaching is an instructional delivery approach in which two equally qualified general and special educators share responsibility for planning, delivery and evaluation of instructional techniques for a group of students; general and special educators work in a coactive and coordinated fashion, which involves the joint teaching of academically and behaviorally heterogeneous groups of students in integrated settings. (Bauwens & Hourcade, 1991; Bauwens, Hourcade, & Friend, 1989; Friend & Cook, 1992; Scheffel, Kallam, Smith, & Hoernicke, 1996; Walther-Thomas, Bryant, & Land, 1996). The co-teachers provide specially designed instruction to which students with disabilities are entitled while ensuring access to general curriculum in the least restrictive environment with the provision of supplementary aids and services. General and special educators are present while co-teaching in the general classroom, thus maintaining joint responsibility for specified classroom instruction (Bauwens, Hourcade, & Friend, 1989). Research shows that general educators have expertise in knowledge of the curriculum while special educators have expertise in instructional processes used to teach individual students who may learn atypically (Adams & Cessna, 1991; Reeve & Hallahan, 1994; Ripley, 1997). There are a variety of co-teaching approaches. Each approach is designed to enhance different types of activities or for learning environments.