Co-Teaching in the PYP at ISS

ISS International School Singapore has been on a journey towards inclusion. The school embraces and welcomes a diverse range of students, not just from a range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, but also those who require additional learning support. The school community has embraced this goal and has been steadily moving towards it over the last few years. As the school has support departments in both Learning Support and ESL, we have been exploring using co-teaching as a way to facilitate our inclusive goals and make the best use of our human resources.

Co-teaching is a model in which two teachers work together within a classroom to plan, teach and assess all students in the room. This benefits all students, not just those requiring additional support, as teacher-student ratios are lowered, feedback rates are increased, stigmas are lessened, and, materials and tasks are modified in order to differentiate for all students. In this way, co-teaching meets the standards and practices of the PYP that address the need for collaborative planning, differentiating for a range of diverse learners and the inclusion and support of all students.

In our work towards a co-teaching model of learning support, we have come across some barriers to full implementation. One barrier that we have recurrently heard feedback about from our faculty is the challenge of finding the time to effectively and collaboratively plan for all co-teaching sessions.

In our examination of how to overcome this particular barrier, we turned to technology to see its functionality in resolving this problem. How can we make use of existing technology resources to support us in our collaborative planning goals? This exploration led to the writing of the article: ‘Using Technology to Facilitate Planning for the Co-Taught Classroom’, which has been published on the ASCD Inservice blog. The article overviews how technology can facilitate collaborative planning in five different ways:
  • Facilitating communication
  • Creating and sharing resources
  • Sharing student data and tracking your work
  • Co-planning in different physical spaces
  • Scheduling

Used in this way, technology resources may be a useful, and perhaps necessary, support when we co-plan to support all our students. As we continue our journey towards inclusion, we must continue to look for ways in which we can overcome barriers to ensure we are adequately serving all students within our PYP contexts.

Christine Arnold
Co-Teaching Coordinator
Learning Support Teacher
ISS International School 

*Christine will be leading a session on co-teaching in the PYP at PYPConnect on November 18th. 


  1. You know this made it to the inboxes of ASCD Board Members too? Amazing!


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