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The Special Educator's Guide to Collaboration

The Special Educator's Guide to Collaboration
Improving Relationships With Co-Teachers, Teams, and Families

Second Edition

May 2006 | 360 pages | Corwin
'The valuable information and numerous strategies and resources make this a must have book for all teachers striving for effective collaborative relationships' - Spencer J. Salend, Professor, SUNY, The College at New Paltz

General and special education teachers working side by side on a daily basis must move beyond basic communication to improve collaborative relationships in and outside the classroom. Author Sharon F. Cramer delves into the art of the collaborative process through a series of practical exercises coupled with relevant research, and outlines a plan to make collaboration a life-long part of teaching. Pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and staff developers alike can use the activities in the book as is or adapt them to fit their own unique circumstances.

Whether used for personal improvement or by a group for professional development purposes, these invaluable set of relationship-building tools will empower teachers and give them the motivation, understanding, and skills to transform unsatisfactory co-teaching relationships into productive, truly collaborative relationships. Special features include:

o Case stories and data from among 1,000 collaboration projects supervised by the author

o Up-to-date research, including an overview of current literature on collaboration

o "Idea try-outs"-step-by-step reflection activities for promoting independent, innovative thinking

o "Project try-outs"-structured research and interview activities that provide readers with focused ways to test their collaboration skills

When teachers become curious, motivated learners, not only will they discover the many benefits of collaborative relationships with their peers, but they will also enrich the learning environment for their students.

Preface to the Second Edition
About the Author
1. Why Can’t We Just Be Friends?
Becoming Proactive: Improving the School Climate Through Collaboration

Overview of the Collaboration Project

Principals of Collaboration

Distinguishing Between Collaboration, Consultation, and Teaming


2. Background: Making the Case for Collaboration
Legislative Mileposts

Collaboration: Relevant Trends and Events


3. Ingredients for Successful Collaboration: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Characteristics
Intrapersonal Foundation for Collaboration

Interpersonal Foundation for Collaboration

Problem Solving: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Skills

Bringing It All Together

4. Evaluating Your Situation Honestly: Appraising Your School as a Context for Collaboration
Assessing Resources Available to Collaborators

Factors Promoting Collaboration

Applications to Use in Your School Setting

Communitywide Collaboration Experiments

5. Developing an Effective Collaboration Strategy: Half Empty or Half Full?
Collaboration Component Checklists

Compatibility Checklist

Success Checklist


6. Designing a Plan for Change Starting With You
Guidelines for the Collaboration Project

Designing a Self-Referential Plan for Collaboration

Overview of Pragmatic Goals

Development of Pragmatic Goals and Objectives

Incorporating Expertise: Marshaling Resources

7. What Now? What Works and What Doesn’t When Collaborating
Effective Communication Strategies: Something for Everyone

Accomplishing Pragmatic Goals and Associated Evaluation Methods

Making Use of Your Collaboration Resource Network


8. Evaluating the Success of Your Plan: How Can You Tell?
Objective Measures of Change

Subjective Measures of Change


9. Self-Encouragement: Keeping Yourself Going
Self-Talk: The Cornerstone for Self-Encouragement or Self-Discouragement

Looking for the Positives: Positive Reinforcement for Yourself

Sample Projects Incorporating Reinforcement

Teaching Yourself to Look: Observing Yourself


10. Summing Up the Outcomes: What Have You Accomplished?
Assessing Success: How Did Your Plan Work Out?

Communication Habits

Problem-Solving Habits

Cooperative Work Efforts


11. Generalizing Your Plan to Others: Improved Collaboration With Parents and Family Members of Your Students
Key 1: Understanding Family Diversity

Key 2: Developing Practical Communication Habits

Key 3: Build on What You’ve Already Learned


12. Generalizing Your Plan to Others: Improved Collaboration With Members of Your Interdisciplinary Team
The Life Cycle of Your Interdisciplinary Team

Additional Use of Teams



"The valuable information and numerous strategies and resources make this a must have book for all teachers striving for effective collaborative relationships with others."

Spencer J. Salend, Professor of Special Education
School of Education, State University of New York

I wanted an affordable book for my students.

Dr Verna Cornish
Education Dept, Southwest Minnesota State University
March 11, 2010

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412914918