Avera Acai
Reference: Carter, N., Prater, M., Jackson, A., & Marchant, M. (2009). Educators perceptions of collaborative planning processes for students with disabilities. Preventing School Failure, 54(1).
Research findings suggest that collaborative planning processes for students with disabilities is a significant aspect for student accountability and academic progress. Teachers who share common philosophies regarding students with disabilities are more likely to be successful with collaborative planning. (Carter, et al., 2009) As a result, researchers at Brigham Young University developed the curriculum, rules, instruction, materials, environment (CRIME) model. This model was implemented in five elementary schools in a large western U.S. state to see when teachers used the CRIME model to collaboratively plan instructional supports for students with disabilities what the nature of the experience was and how collaboration was defined within that experience.
The Project
The researchers collaborated with six pairs of elementary school teachers to implement the CRIME model in which all six pairs of teachers agreed to participate. The four major steps of the CRIME model included: 1) evaluate the curriculum, rules, instruction, materials, and environment of the general education classroom; 2) list the student’s learning and behavioral strengths and limitations; 3) compare the classroom environment with the student’s profile to identify learning facilitators and barriers; and 4) plan adaptations and accommodations that will facilitate learning and mitigate the effect of learning barriers.
The participants included six general education teachers and six special education teachers who taught a range of grade levels first through sixth grade. The study took place in 2007-2008 in one of the largest suburban school districts in the United States. The six pairs of teachers were trained to use the CRIME model.
The CRIME model required that teachers analyze their classrooms and compare their practices and environments to their student’s profiles. Also, the teachers were able to share, discuss, and analyze information about themselves, their partner, and their students. Four out of the six pairs of teachers were able identify a problem and were able to collaboratively plan accommodations and adaptations for their students with disabilities. The general education teachers of the other two pairs came up with their own accommodations and adaptations on their own in which a collaborative effort was not implemented. All of the teachers reportedly benefitted from this study but reported that time was often a challenge due to time and different beliefs.
Discussion, Implications, and Recommendations
The researchers noted that using the CRIME model to collaboratively plan accommodations for the students with disabilities, the teachers all had different experiences. According to the authors, either the teachers completed all four steps of the model without significant difficulties, or they encountered barriers that prevented them from completing the process together. The teachers philosophical beliefs about influenced their beliefs about accommodations for students with disabilities. Also, the study recommends that in order for collaboration to occur that teachers need the support of administrators by ensuring that teachers have time to collaborate. Finally, all teachers need specific training on how to adapt classroom instruction in order to incorporate research-based strategies.
My Thoughts
I believe that the CRIME model is a strong model for teachers of both general education and special education to think about implementing in their own schools. The CRIME model allowed opportunities for both the special education teacher and the general education teacher to problem solve and come up with successful accommodations and adaptations. I believe that the CRIME model allows an opportunity to not only work collaboratively but it provides an opportunity for all teachers involved to reflect upon their practices and develop a deeper understanding of their students needs. The researchers were wise to pair up a general education teacher with a special education teacher, because often in schools these two types of teachers do not have the chance to collaborate as often as they did while participating in part of the CRIME model. This research is useful in understanding and implementing collaboration because this model provides specific steps in how to problem solve so that accommodations and adaptations can be provided.
Connections to Course Material
Friend and Cook (2007) suggest that teams go through life cycles. Friend and Cook state that teams go through a forming, storming, norming, and then performing stage. After reading this study it made me think about how the teachers in this study were able to reach the norming and performing stage since they were able to problem solve and come up with accommodations for the students with special needs using the CRIME model. I believe that this study was relevant to the way(s) in with successful collaboration can occur.