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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

Second Edition of: Collaboration: A Success Strategy for Special Educators

April 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

At last, a practical game plan for productive and personally rewarding collaborative relationships!

General and special education teachers working side by side on a daily basis must move beyond basic communication to improve collaborative relationships inside 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. Preservice teachers, inservice 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:

  • Case stories and data from among 1,000 collaboration projects supervised by the author
  • Up-to-date research, including an overview of current literature on collaboration
  • "Idea try-outs"-step-by-step reflection activities for promoting independent, innovative thinking
  • "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
Key features
  • Numerous step-by-step "Idea to Try Out" and "Projects to Try Out" activities that encourage action, reflection, and revision.
  • Numerous case-studies.
  • Fosters continuous professional development/long-term self-improvement.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412914918