Saturday, December 13, 2008

Successful Inclusion: Not Just an Illusion

It's not often you come across a teacher like Lisa Parisi. Lisa co-teaches in an inclusion classroom where there is no distinction between regular education and special education kids. Kids are valued without labels. And success happens here.

Lisa's most recent blog post, "A Perfect Storm?" details what successful co-teaching in an inclusive classroom looks like. There are four components:

1. A shared philosophy
2. Universal Design for Learning embedded throughout the curriculum
3. Project Based Learning
4. A belief that children work better in small groups

Additional factors that promote success:
We both work very hard to make our classroom engaging, fun, and supportive. We spend a great deal of time teaching the children acceptance and respect for each other.

We both are capable of showing our students that we are learners, too, and as such, have our own struggles to overcome.

We both believe in telling children the truth. We want them to understand their struggles so they can compensate. And so they can understand that others might also have the same struggles.
Read the rest of her post and think about how this model could be duplicated in your schools. I am so grateful that Lisa is part of my PLN as I have learned a great deal from her. In fact, without social networking tools, I'm not sure I would ever know about her work. Add her blog to your RSS so that you, too, can learn from her successes.


Sharon Eilts said...

Hi Karen,

I love this. My sadness is that my district has regressed from project based learning to teaching to the test because of NCLB.

Sharon Eilts

Nancy said...

Hi Karen-
I co-teach a math class and an English class. My educational philosophy differs somewhat from both of the teachers I share teaching with, but we try to make it work. Do you have thoughts about how to make it work if you don't completely agree on all four components you mention.