My Philosophy of Collaborative Education

Introduction

Collaborative education is always close to the cooperation and teamwork. It is the cooperation of regular education teachers, special education teachers and support personnel. I believe that only the united efforts of all of these public school members can lead to the achievement of a mutual aim – a successful learning and development of their students.

 

Arguments

First, it is necessary to speak about students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), because it supposes the cooperation of parents, special education teachers, at least one regular education teacher, and support personnel that may be helpful. Among support personnel, we can distinguish psychologists and speech specialists, who are often necessary to interpret and evaluate the individual results of each student. I believe that the leading role in collaborative education is given to special education teachers. Having separate environments, they have a possibility to know the individual characteristics of each student who has disabilities in learning, his educational gaps and needs.

The most important functions of these teachers are, at first, to help students fill the gaps in educational program and, secondly, explain the individual peculiarities of each student to general education teachers. The role of general education teachers is to use the inherited knowledge to help students study and socialize in the most effective way. In my opinion, the team collaboration must be aimed at generating ideas on how to help each student depending on his actual knowledge, learning abilities, and psychological peculiarities. If all the teachers involved are ready to cooperate, there are almost no obstacles on their way. The most difficult thing in teamwork, in my opinion, is the disability to listen to colleagues and be open-minded and ready to absorb new ideas. It has something to do with self-evaluation and to overcome the difficulty you need to respect your colleagues the way you respect yourself.

Regarding learners, it is necessary to mention that in cooperation with them, a teacher usually gets what he or she expects from the student. That is why it is important for any teacher to set goals, which are high enough according to real abilities and disabilities of each student. To plan the educational process, a teacher must know the impact disabilities may have on learning. Students with language disabilities are sometimes not able to follow teacher`s directions, read, write or provide any verbal communication, so working with them must include the simplest language, repeating, forming visual images and using non-verbal means of communication.

Students, who have problems with their visual skills, may be disable to coordinate, write, cut or color; therefore, a teacher needs to provide an extra practice for them and be sure to use the materials suitable for perception. Students with phonological disabilities may have problems with identifying words and pronouncing; thus, a teacher may be helpful by giving explanations in this direction.

It is necessary to stress the importance of knowledge. I understand knowledge as integrity of facts, skills and abilities with the help of which students are able to influence the environment. It is important that students do not get ready information only but learn to work actively in order to reorganize their ideas. Differentiation is vitally important here because when working in large groups, a student has small chances to build his own learning experience, to improve his weak sides and to create a subjectively new knowledge. A teacher in a collaborative classroom must be not the one who transmits his or her ideas to the students but the one who helps them to generate new ideas, practice skills and learn effectively.

Conclusion

As a conclusion, I would like to say that the united efforts of all the indicated specialists could help children with disabilities learn and explore the world around them better. During individual lessons and group work a teacher shouldn`t forget to correlate student`s actual abilities with goals that are set and should help them to create a subjectively new knowledge and develop skills.

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