CO-TEACHING APPROACHES: HEARING IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN mAINSTREAM CLASS
Aliza Alias1*, Umithayyibah Ramly2
1Dr., Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MALAYSIA, email firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Ms., Alor Akar Secondary School, Pahang, MALAYSIA, email email@example.com
Co-teaching approaches emphasize on the collaboration and communication between members of a teaching team to meet the learning objectives and learning needs of all students in a classroom. Co-teaching is typically perceived as two educational professionals working together to teach a group of heterogeneous learners including those with special needs. This study identifies the co-teaching approaches that were implemented by the teachers in mainstream classes that were attended by hearing impaired students. Participants in this case study were special education teachers who were involved in inclusive education for hearing impaired students in a secondary school. These teachers collaborated with general education teachers to teach subjects such as Geography, Mathematics and Science in mainstream classes that have hearing impaired students. Three special education teachers who specialized in teaching hearing impaired students were interviewed. The interview findings were transcribed and analyzed based on themes that emerged which are the co-teaching approaches chosen, benefits of co-teaching approaches, successful of co-teaching and challenges that faced by the teachers in implementing the co-teaching approaches in the mainstream classes. This study found that special education teachers preferred to use two co-teaching approaches which are parallel teaching that teach two groups in a class simultaneously; and one teach–one assists approach that is when the general education teacher teaches, the special education teacher assists in the teaching process. Most of the time, the special education teachers’ roles also include as interpreters in the class. The teachers were not only signing to the hearing impaired students what the mainstream teachers were talking or teaching in class but also teaching or assisting the students to understand the lesson taught in the class. The special education teachers also interpreted the questions, answers or opinions from hearing impaired student to the teacher or to the classmates during the lesson. Thus, the interpreters' role in the classroom included translating teacher speech, voicing student sign language, mediating communication between deaf students and their peers, and monitoring overall classroom behavior. The approaches of co–teaching motivated hearing impaired students to build social connection or interaction with hearing classmates. The factors that contributed to co-teaching success were the planning and preparation done together with general education teachers, supports from administrators, and voluntary students’ participation and teachers’ involvement. In the process of the learning, some of the challenges faced by the teachers in implementing the approaches are the teaching workloads of both special and general education teachers, scheduling the time table of the inclusive classes, and class control/management of students with diverse levels of understanding/achievement. As a conclusion, co-teaching approaches need to be mastered by both special education teachers and general education teachers who are involved in inclusive education. Courses on appropriate teaching approaches and basic special education courses for mainstream teachers are essential in enhancing the teaching efficiency of teachers who are involved in inclusive education.
Keywords: Co-teaching approaches, hearing impaired students, mainstream class, special education teacher
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