this method effectively are constantly on the move. They may be engaged with the students as a classroom collective, individually or in groups. Their involvement would include questioning, disciplining, guiding, validating, monitoring, motivating, encouraging, suggesting, modeling and clarifying (McKenzie, 2001).
The definitions of co-teaching represent an integration of experiences with other school-based teams that actively support students in heterogeneous learning environments (Villa & Thousand, 2004) and the literature on cooperative group learning (Johnson & Johnson, 1989, 1999), collaboration and consultation (Fishbaugh, 1997; Idol, 1986, 1998; Friend & Cook, 2002; Hourcade & Bauwens, 2002; Idol, Nevin, & Paolucci-Whitcomb, 1994, 2000), and cooperation (Brandt, 1987; Bauwens, Hourcade, & Friend, 1989).
Co-teaching is realized and implemented in numerous ways. An early study by Esterby-Smith and Olve (1984) might provide important insights for teacher educators with respect to a typology of collaborative relationships. They defined five types of collaborative teaching that might be found in higher education classrooms as follows: (a) Star – one teacher holds major responsibility for the course, collaborators function as guest lecturers etc.; (b) Hierarchical – one senior teacher responsible for most of class, junior instructors assist in discussions, etc.; (c) Specialist – collective designing of curriculum by team members, each one taking major role according to special knowledge, all assisting in discussions, etc.; (d) Generalist – collective designing of curriculum but teaching divided by practical considerations rather than specialty; and (e) Interactive – collective designing of curriculum, teaching highly flexible according to need at time of teaching rather than in advance. Watkins and Caffarella (1999), identified four working-style variations: parallel teaching, serial teaching, co-teaching, and co-facilitation. This typology is much similar to the descriptions of various approaches to co-teaching in K-12 public schools in the USA (e.g., Friend & Cook, 2002; Villa et al., 2008). These approaches include (a) collaborative consultation, where educators with particular expertise (e.g., content knowledge, disability category knowledge, pedagogy knowledge, etc.) provide advice to the other educators; (b) supportive co-teaching, where one educator takes the lead and others rotate among students to provide support; (c) parallel co-teaching, where co-teachers instruct different heterogeneous groups of students; (d) complementary co-teaching, where one educator does something to supplement or complement the instruction provided by the other educator (e.g., models note taking or paraphrases the teacher’s statements); (e) team teaching, known as “one brain in two bodies”, where educators are partners who share responsibility for planning, teaching, and assessing the progress of all students in the course.
In a comparatively similar position, Sandholtz (2000) identified three types of team teaching: (1) two or more teachers loosely sharing responsibilities; (2) team planning, but individual instruction; and (3) joint planning, instruction, and evaluation of learning experiences. Morocco and Mata-Aguilar (2003), on the other hand, provide a relatively comprehensive taxonomy for co-teaching structures including a) Alternate leading and supporting, b) Station teaching, c) Parallel teaching, d) Flexible grouping, e) Alternate teaching, and f) Team teaching. Similarly, Friend and Cook (2004) introduce six approaches to co-teaching: 1) One Teach, One Observe; 2) One Teach, One Drift; 3) Parallel Teaching; 4) Station Teaching; 5) Alternative Teaching; and 6) Team Teaching. Bacharach, Heck, and Dahlberg (2008), in an attempt to account for the possible options for such a joint performance, presented a relatively improved typology of co-teaching models. These approaches include 1. One Teach, One Observe, 2. One Teach, One Drift, 3. Station Teaching, 4. Parallel Teaching, 5. Supplemental Teaching, 6. Alternative (Differentiated) Teaching, and 7. Team Teaching.
However, based on the typologies presented by various teaching and co-teaching specialists and practitioners we can categorize different possible types of co-teaching by imagining a continuum of collaboration. At the low-collaboration end are courses planned by a group of faculty and later taught individually by members of the group. They might plan the general content of these related courses, but would teach and evaluate the courses separately; they would not observe each other’s classes. At the highest level of collaboration are courses that are co-planned, co-taught and evaluated by a pair or group of teachers. These courses are self-contained with instructors working simultaneously in the classroom. In other words, all aspects of the course, including instructional time, are collaborative. Teachers trade off lead and supporting teaching roles as they orchestrate instruction. It is likely that most co-taught courses fall somewhere between these two extremes. In the literature, we can find documentation of co-teaching in single courses (Davis, 1995); across a program (Katsura and Matsune, 1994; Rosenkjar, 2002); and institution-wide (Stewart et al., 2002). Therefore, there are several ways co-teaching can be implemented. Understanding of the various teaming approaches, identifying the pitfalls and strengths of each model allows for a common dialogue between administrators and the team members (Piechura, et, al., 2006, p. 41). The most common co-teaching variations are:
2.6.1. One teach, one observe
In this model, one teacher has primary instructional responsibility while the other gathers specific observational information on students or the instructing teacher. In other words, based on this approach, one instructor has important responsibility for delivering the instructional materials while the other co-instructor observes and assists students individually. This approach is quite compatible with increasing the experience of teacher students. One of the advantages in this co-teaching model is that more detailed observation of students engaged in the learning process can occur. When one teaches and one observes during co-teaching, the teachers should decide in advance what types of information are to be gathered during the observation and should agree on a system for gathering the data. Afterward, the teachers should analyze the information together. That is, observation should be a deliberate part of the lesson, not just teachers’ incidental checks of student activity.
2.6.2. Station Teaching
For station teaching the co-teaching pair divides the instructional content into parts and each takes responsibility for planning and teaching part of it. Each teacher instructs one of the groups. Groups then rotate or spend a designated amount of time at each station. Depending on the subject, both teachers provide guidance at a learning station (they might provide the directions, manipulatives, clues, assessment of student understanding, etc). Co-teachers set up tasks in different parts of the room and serve as the teacher/facilitator at different stations, each of which is relevant to the lesson. Heterogeneous groups of students rotate from station to station according to a predetermined schedule. This model is mostly recommended when content is complex but not hierarchical, in lessons in which part of planned instruction is review, and when several topics comprise instruction.
2.6.3. Parallel Teaching
In this approach, co-teachers plan a lesson together and then divide the class into two heterogeneous groups. Each teacher instructs half the students. The two teachers are addressing the same instructional material. Both teachers take half of the class to introduce, reinforce, or clarify a concept or lesson. In this scenario, the same learning goal, strategies, materials, assessment would be used. They teach the same material, but may use different approaches and methodologies. In this type of co-teaching, the teachers jointly plan the instruction, but each delivers it to a heterogeneous group comprised of half of the students in the class. Teachers do not change groups. All students receive essentially the same instruction. This approach to co-teaching can be deployed (a) for activities such as drill and practice, re-teaching, and test review; (b) to foster student participation in discussions; and (c) when a lower adult-student ratio is needed to improve instructional efficiency.
2.6.4. Team Teaching
Well planned team-taught lessons exhibit an invisible flow of instruction with no prescribed division of authority. Using a team -teaching strategy, both teachers are actively involved in the lesson. Both teachers have distinct roles in a literacy lesson; one reads the story, for example, while the other provides the prompting questions and they may change roles during the lesson. Two teachers provide instruction to the entire class. They hand off the instructional lead to one another across and within activities and may intervene during the other’s conversation turn to explain or elaborate the content to students. Both teachers collaboratively share the instruction of all students. This involves shared planning and a high level of mutual trust.
2.6.5. Alternate Teaching
One teacher teaches the large group, while the other teaches or re-teaches content or skills to a small group. Teachers may regroup students and may alternate roles in teaching the large and small groups. Alternative teaching