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Joel Fosha
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Last modified: Friday, July 29, 2011

Book sets out framework to help teachers work together

July 29, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new book, Critical Conversations in Co-Teaching, explores co-teaching models, discusses how the approach fits with school improvement initiatives, and describes protocols that foster dramatic improvements in how educators communicate with their colleagues for the benefit of student learning.

The framework discussed in the book, written by Indiana University author Cate Hart Hyatt and Carrie Chapman of Minnesota State University, Mankato, leads readers to intentionally focus on building adult relationships and targeting students in more meaningful ways.

book cover

"Authentic conversations from real teachers bring the framework to life," said Hyatt, who expects the book to interest teachers, principals, and other practitioners. "Many teachers who have used the framework report that the process re-energized them and reminded them of why they became educators in the first place."

Critical Conversations in Co-Teaching, published by Solution Tree Press, is designed to enhance shared practice by using a simple structure and process of talking together. The protocols fit into three categories: nonnegotiable conversations (recommended for all partners), special occasion protocols (to use in specific situations), and "in a perfect world" protocols (to use as enrichment activities to extend learning).

"The framework can create profound differences in the way teachers work together, in the outcomes they can expect from their students, and in their feelings of connectedness to their profession," said Hyatt.

Hyatt has spent 30-plus years as an educator, teaching preschool through graduate school students, and is a research associate with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community's Center on Education and Lifelong Learning. She holds a master's degree in counseling and special education. Chapman is an assistant professor of education at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she is the co-teaching coordinator for the College of Education. Chapman earned her doctorate from Indiana University in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in special education.

About the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is a research, education and service center affiliated with Indiana University Bloomington. Its mission is to work with communities to welcome, value and support the meaningful participation of people of all ages and abilities through research, education and service. The Center on Education and Lifelong Learning works with school and communities to welcome, include, educate and support all learners.

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community receives support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington (OVPR). OVPR is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives, and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path-breaking work.