Co-teaching and Co-generative Dialogue

Coteaching and cogenerative dialogue has been proposed by Roth and Tobin and has had an international impact in educational research (Tobin, 2007). Coteaching and cogenerative dialogue as collaborative teaching and learning provides a dynamic structure in the classroom which help teachers to improve their pedagogical practices as well as their students’ learning. According to Stith and Roth (2008), involving students in cogenerative dialogue, will help them to engage and contribute to their learning which lead to the classroom transformation.

Tobin (2005) described co-teaching occurring when two or more persons collaborate to teach a group of students. The presence of multiple teachers provides a greater array of dynamic structures than is possible when only one teacher is present. Accordingly, the students in a class experience an expanded agency and associated opportunities for learning and creating new identities. A higher incidence of teaching in co-taught classrooms is not only experienced by students, but also the teachers who can appropriate the enacted teaching of others to expand their own repertoire of teaching practices. By being in a class with other teachers, and co-teaching with them, all co-teachers experience many more interactions between teachers and students and they also experience teacher-teacher interactions. The increased experience with interactions provides a framework for learning to teach through co-teaching. Over the past decade in the USA, co-teaching has been developed not only as a form of teaching but also as a way of learning to teach, doing research, supervising new teachers and evaluating teaching in classrooms (Roth, 1998; Roth & Boyd, 1999; Roth & Tobin, 2001). Co-teaching is requiring researchers to co-participate in the teaching in order to understand it. This first-person perspective provides a radically different view of classroom events and classroom environment.

In an effort to involve students as researchers, the practice of co-generative dialogue emerged (Tobin, 2005). In this practice, two students from each class are identified to provide an answer to their teacher’s question, ‘How could I teach better so that my students like my lessons?’ The value of getting teachers and students together to discuss their shared experiences has been highly appreciated (Tobin, 2005). What can be improved, what is working well, what is frustrating, and what is most enjoyable, are topics that have been discussed? The use of this conversational format allows teachers to get beyond lists of things that need improvement and to delve more deeply into the nature of teaching. Interactions allow deeper probing of classroom life and a meeting of the minds. Therefore, integration of coteaching and cogenerative dialogue will engage student and teacher into classroom transformation. Several research studies show that coteaching and cogenerative dialogue have been used for teacher evaluation (Roth & Tobin, 2001), for classroom praxis (Roth & Tobin, & Zimmermahn, 2002; Martin, 2006), for transforming classroom culture (Lehner, 2007), and for transforming teachers’ beliefs and practices (Carambo & Stickney, 2009). In this basis for study, a co-teaching/co-generative dialogue has been studied to improve the teacher-student interactions in classrooms thus enhancing student learning of Environmental Science.

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