Co-teaching and inclusion in upper level secondary science classrooms
Although inclusion is becoming more widespread in Canada, little progress has been made in making upper level science courses accessible to all students in secondary schools. All students require and deserve access to science courses to help them understand the world around them. Collaborative action research was conducted in an effort to investigate the research question: how can co-teaching support inclusion in upper level science classrooms? The researcher, a special education and trained science teacher, partnered with a classroom teacher to co-teach a diverse physics 11 classroom. Numerous co-teaching methods were explored such as the one teach one support, parallel, teaming, and station models. Data was collected through pre- and post-interviews, audio and video recordings of weekly collaborative planning meetings, and a researcher journal. Five themes were evident throughout the data: time, assessment, support for teacher, co-teacher dynamics, and classroom management. The completed collaborative action research had positive results in improving teacher capacity and confidence in creating inclusive classrooms and making upper level science accessible to all students. Suggestions for practice and future research are provided based on the co-teaching experience and interpretation of the data.