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Collaboration in the Realm of Special Education

The University of Kansas


SPED 854
Victoria Corte
Collaboration in the Realm of Special Education

Collaboration is one of the most important practices in special education. As teachers, it Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5"

is our responsibility to provide an atmosphere for open communication between colleagues,

service providers, and parents/guardians. Collaboration allows every participant to be an active

member in the students success. The need for collaboration is risingrises in schools today, and

many schools are making an effort to include an uninterrupted time for collaboration.

Collaboration needs to be a professional and open space where each participant feels

comfortable to share their ideas. Collaboration can be successful if all the key players stay

engaged, bring their ideas, and communicate effectively.

An Individualized Education Program is created for students who receive special

education services. To create this active document, many stakeholders meet to discuss the

students current physical, academical, and emotional needs and develop a plan for success.

The key players who develop the IEP are general and special education teachers, parents or

guardians, assessment personnel, related service providers, and studentsif old enough to

participate according to state law. Since several participants are involved in this process, good

collaboration is necessary to create productive strategies for student achievement.

Communication with families will lead to a better collaborative environment and greater

student success.

Participants can succeed at collaboration by following key strategies and being vigilant

for potential barriers that may arise. Ways to promote successful collaboration include trusting

one another, understanding differences, and taking ownership of student outcomes.

Stakeholder establish mutual trust by listening to their colleagues ideas and following through
with responsibilities agreed upon in the group. With any diverse group of people, differences

often arise and can create division. The way stakeholders confront these differences can affect

the tone and mood of the group. Educators are often given primary responsibility for student

outcomes. To develop successful collaboration, every participant needs to be an active member

and contribute their ideas and resources for the betterment of the student.

On the other hand, barriers can arise that lead to ineffective or subpar collaboration.

This could be due to the school culture, professional association among educators, and

perceived impracticality of collaborative techniques. If a decision is made without the

consideration of special education or related services, student success can be negatively

affected. It is important for decision-makers to discuss schedules, curriculum, and overall school

functions with the special education department. This will ensure that all school entities are

included in the planning process. Many teachers are not trained to properly interact with other

professionals, with emphasis on direct instruction to students and the overall planning of

curriculum. Appropriate professional relationships are gained through experience and the

effort put forth by the individual. Also, many teacher do not believe collaborative techniques to

be practical. They see the additional effort and time it takes to be a discouragement and

distraction from their purpose. However, using collaborative techniques allows teachers to gain

new and fresh ideas from one another that they could not attain on their own.

Collaboration is a crucial component in todays school system, and special educators ion

use s collaborative techniques daily. It is important that schools facilitate appropriate ways to

collaborate so that teachers and faculty will be able to effectively use these techniques.

Learning how to effectively collaborate will change the way we teach, interact with others, and
share our insights, ideas, and resources. It is important that schools facilitate appropriate ways

to collaborate so that teachers and faculty will be able to effectively use these techniques.