Resource rooms give students a dedicated space to receive special services, while co-teaching provides all students with the opportunity to work with two qualified teachers in an inclusive environment. Resource rooms provide resources for students with varying types of special needs, including physical handicaps, learning disabilities and gifted students needing additional challenges. Co-teaching allows all students to be educated together, regardless of ability levels.
Resource rooms are equipped to handle a large range of special needs, including physical handicaps and learning disabilities. Staffed with trained special education teachers, students visit the resource room to get extra help on assignments or remedial services. Some resource rooms may also offer enrichment challenges for gifted students. Students may use the resource room for a few minutes of tutoring or may stay in the room for several subjects, depending on their needs.
Co-teaching classrooms have two fully trained teachers who split responsibilities for the classroom. One teacher is generally trained in special education and functions as a source of additional support for both learning disabled and other students. Small groups are often created to reinforce instruction. There are many methods of co-teaching; in some classes teaching is evenly split, while others use a teacher and assistant set-up.
Advantages to Resource Rooms
A resource room provides a safe environment that is better equipped to deal with the needs of students with disabilities than a regular classroom. Students have an opportunity to receive one-on-one instruction without fear of embarrassment from students with higher abilities. Some students may be more likely to ask questions in the private setting of a resource room than they would in a larger class filled with peers. Resource rooms free general classroom teachers from the added pressures of handling the needs of disabled students.
Advantages to Co-Teaching
Most methods of co-teaching result in reduced planning and instructional time for both teachers. There can be more student-to-teacher interaction and more small group work. Co-teaching can be beneficial, giving teachers a chance to make accommodations for students who learn at varying rates, regardless of ability levels. All students are given an opportunity to appreciate differences and learn acceptance skills for people who have special needs.
- U.S. News & World Report: Two High School Teachers May Be Better Than One
- National Education Association: 6 Steps to Successful Co-Teaching
- K-12 Teachers Alliance: Effective Co-Teaching Strategies
- Council for Exceptional Children: Co- Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms: A Metasynthesis of Qualitative Research
- Maryland State Department of Education: Preschool Special Education (3-5)
- National Union of Teachers: The Cost to Pupils and Staff of Inclusion in Mainstream Schools of Children with SEN
- Education World: Does Inclusion Help or Hurt Students?
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