Co-teaching defined

Matthew Hill


Friend, M. (2007).  Co-teaching defined.  Website.  Co-teaching Connection.  Retrieved Oct. 19, 2016, from

In this article, Marilyn Friend, one of the foremost proponents, practitioners, and scholars of K-12 special education co-teaching, gives a very brief description of the fundamental elements of co-teaching.

I liked this very short page because of the simplicity and clarity of its descriptions of what co-teaching really is, something that up to the moment I read it was not very clear to me.  It makes explicit the most common and appropriate setting for co-teaching (inclusion classes in K-12) and makes this statement regarding a fundamental “rule” for co-teaching: “Two or more professionals with equivalent licensure and employment status are the participants in co-teaching.  Co-teaching is based on parity.  When paraprofessionals or other adults assist in classrooms, the contribution is valuable, but it is appropriately considered support rather than co-teaching.”  From my perspective as a librarian in higher education, it says to me that co-teaching is not appropriate at the university level unless the librarian has an equivalent degree of education with the co-teaching professor, something that does not always occur.  Furthermore, even if there is an equivalent educational level, the greater experience of the non-librarian in teaching and the potential for a lack of subject knowledge on the part of the librarian make it a shaky proposal at best at the university level, and something that should be occasional, exceptional, rather than the rule.

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