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Making Collaboration Work in Inclusive High School Classrooms Essay

The author uses a fictional case study chronicling a team in an inclusive high school setting. The team consists of the principal (administrator), the general education teacher, the special education teacher, the physical therapist, and the speech pathologist. Throughout the paper she creates a fictional case study that moves the group from contention through collaboration to ultimate success in sustaining an inclusion program at the fictional high school. The limitations to this approach is first, that it is fictional.

Second, it does not account for external factors such as program funding or the presence of other educational initiatives that may change dynamics such as teacher availability (in terms of work hours) classroom methods such as those designed to facilitate state and district demands under the No Child Left Behind initiative. Although the fictional case study imposes limitations, Hines successfully demonstrates four guiding principals or best practices for successful collaboration – open communication, sharing leadership, developing goals, and resolving conflicts.

By breaking the case study into four sections, she poses the questions – what is the challenge to successful collaboration and what factors are impeding a successful inclusion program. Following each portion of case narrative she answer the questions and provides a framework for solving each challenge and implementing those solutions into the inclusion framework. Critical Analysis – Findings and Opinions Collaboration is the key to making the inclusive classroom setting work.

Effective facilitation is the key to making the collaborative effort work. The school principal is the primary facilitator. This paper describes one principal working with one team, but a principal or administrator can modify Hines’ best practices to work in multiple team settings. This paper can be read in any of three ways. First, what is collaboration and how does it assist in developing an inclusive classroom setting.

Second, given the existence of an inclusive classroom setting, how can collaboration be used to solve problems that arise in sustaining a school’s inclusion program. Third, what framework should an administrator use to develop a successful collaborative effort. Conclusion Joy Hines outlines methods that principals can use for making the collaborative approach work. This case study applies laser like focus to applying principals of collaboration.

Teachers and principals can use this paper to envision their roles, as well as the role of their peers, superiors, and subordinates, in the collaborative process. Finally, Hines makes clear that the team approach and proper facilitation from a leader, the principal, are key elements in making the collaborative effort work. Reference Hines, J. T. (May 2008). Making Collaboration Work in Inclusive High School Classrooms: Recommendations for Principals. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43(5), 277-282.

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