Source: Teacher Education and Special Education v. 30 no. 3, (Summer 2007) p. 155-166.
To adequately prepare preservice teachers to implement inclusive classrooms, teacher preparation programs must encourage professional interaction, collaboration, and knowledge about inclusion. Although some of these skills can be presented in coursework, prospective teachers must be provided with opportunities to practice these skills in classroom settings.
This case study explored the experiences of two pairs of preservice teachers who co-taught as they were placed with teams of collaborating cooperating teachers for a semester-long student teaching experience.
Analysis of data sources including student journals, interviews, and observation notes resulted in themes including the comfort of peer support, the impact of personality on the co-teaching experience, the structure of co-teaching interactions, and the impact on children. Implications for designing collaborative experiences in teacher education programs are discussed.