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Collaborating With Students in Instruction and Decision Making

The Untapped Resource
By: Richard A. Villa, Jacqueline S. Thousand, Ann I. Nevin

Foreword by Paula Kluth and Peyton Goddard

Take advantage of a resource that’s right in your classroom—your students! This book offers practical strategies for empowering students as co-teachers, decision makers, and advocates.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412972178
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2010
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: November 29, 2012

Price: $43.95

Price: $43.95
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"This book reveals how powerful learning could be if students and educators shared more of the teaching responsibilities! Involving students in the teaching experience helps them learn more academically and do more socially."
—Peggy King-Sears, Professor
George Mason University

"In this easy-to-read resource, the authors help educators understand that inclusion isn't something that we do to and for students, but rather, something we must do with students. The powerful anecdotes of educators and students planning, tutoring, and teaching side by side give us new hope and further direction for the creation of inclusive schools."
—Cathy L. Taschner, Assistant Superintendent
Oxford Area School District, PA

Take advantage of a resource that's right in your classroom—your students!

How can you meet the needs of a diverse student population in mixed-ability classrooms and maintain a cooperative, caring, and active learning environment? Students are the perfect resource!

Research shows that when students collaborate with teachers, they take responsibility for what happens in the classroom, care about their classmates, and become more engaged in learning. This comprehensive book offers practical strategies for empowering students as co-teachers, decision makers, and advocates in the classroom. Ideal for K–12 general and special education teachers, this guide describes how to

  • Involve students in instruction through collaborative learning groups, co-teaching, and peer tutoring that foster self-discipline and responsible behavior
  • Make students a part of decision making by utilizing personal learning plans, peer mediation, and other methods
  • Put collaboration with students into practice using the assessment tools, user-friendly lesson plans, case studies, and checklists included

Collaborating With Students in Instruction and Decision Making is packed with all the information, strategies, and tools teachers need to tap their students' potential as a resource for making a difference in the classroom.

Key features

This book includes:

  • Graphic organizers, case studies, and checklists such as best practices in effective peer tutoring, effective cooperative learning, effective service learning, and more
  • Approximately 10-15 figures
  • Many vignettes—some based on research and others which directly capture the real-life experiences of teachers and students
  • A glossary of key terms
  • Reproducibles such as lesson plans, agenda formats, procedures to keep track of student progress and more


Richard A. Villa photo

Richard A. Villa

Learn more about Richard Villa's PD offerings

Richard A. Villa is president of Bayridge Consortium, Inc. His primary field of expertise is the development of administrative and instructional support systems for educating all students within general education settings. Villa is recognized as an educational leader who inspires and works collaboratively with others to implement current and emerging exemplary educational practices. His work has resulted in the inclusion of children with intensive cognitive, physical, and emotional challenges as full members of the general education community in the school districts where he has worked and consulted. Villa has been a classroom teacher, special education administrator, pupil personnel services director, and director of instructional services and has authored 4 books and over 70 articles and chapters. Known for his enthusiastic, humorous style, Villa has presented at international, national, and state educational conferences and has provided technical assistance to departments of education in the United States, Canada, Vietnam, and Honduras and to university personnel, public school systems, and parent and advocacy organizations.
Jacqueline S. Thousand photo

Jacqueline S. Thousand

Jacqueline S. Thousand, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at California State University San Marcos, where she designed and coordinated special education professional preparation and Master’s degree programs in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services. She previously taught at the University of Vermont, where she directed Inclusion Facilitator and Early Childhood Special Education graduate and postgraduate programs and coordinated federal grants, which, in the early 1980s, pioneered the inclusion of students with moderate and severe disabilities in general education classrooms of their local schools. Prior to university teacher, Dr. Thousand served as a special educator in Chicago area and Atlanta public schools and as the coordinator of early childhood special education services for children ages 3 through 6 in the Burlington, Vermont area. Dr. Thousand is a nationally known teacher, author, systems change consultant, and disability rights and inclusive education advocate. She is the author of 21 books and numerous research articles and chapters on issues related to inclusive education, organizational change strategies, differentiated instruction and universal design, co-teaching and collaborative teaming, cooperative group learning, creative problem solving, positive behavioral supports, and, now, culturally proficiency special education. Dr. Thousand is actively involved in international teacher education and inclusive education endeavors and serves on the editorial boards of several national and international journals.

Ann I. Nevin photo

Ann I. Nevin

Ann I. Nevin is professor emerita at Arizona State University and visiting professor at Florida International University. The author of books, research articles, and numerous chapters, Nevin is recognized for her scholarship and dedication to providing meaningful, practice-oriented, research-based strategies for teachers to integrate students with special learning needs. Since the 1970s, she has co-developed various innovative teacher education programs that affect an array of personnel, including the Vermont Consulting Teacher Program, Collaborative Consultation Project Re-Tool sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children, the Arizona State University program for special educators to infuse self-determination skills throughout the curriculum, and the Urban SEALS (Special Education Academic Leaders) doctoral program at Florida International University. Her advocacy, research, and teaching spans more than 38 years of working with a diverse array of people to help students with disabilities succeed in normalized school environments. Nevin is known for action-oriented presentations, workshops, and classes that are designed to meet the individual needs of participants by encouraging introspection and personal discovery for optimal learning.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Importance of Students' Voices by Paula Kluth and Peyton Goddard

List of Tables

List of Figures


About the Authors

I. Introduction

Letter to the Reader

1. Why Collaborate with Students?

Rationale #1: Student Collaboration Facilitates 21st Century Goals of Education

Rationale#2: Student Collaboration is Democratic Schooling

Rationale #3: Student Collaboration Increases Self-Determination

Rationale #4: Student Collaboration Increases Academic and Social Competence

Rationale #5: Student Collaboration Facilitates Other School Reform Efforts

Rationale #6: Student Collaboration is an Untapped Resource in Times of Limited Fiscal and Human Resources


II. Teaching With Students

Definition of Teaching

What is the Instructional Cycle?

What is the Research Base for Teaching with Students?

2. Students as Co-Teachers in Cooperative Learning Groups

What is Cooperative Learning?

What Cooperative Groups Are NOT

Five Essential Ingredients of Cooperative Group Learning: PIGS Face

The Four Phases of Planning and Implementing Formal Cooperative Group Lessons

Teacher Decisions at Each Phase of Planning and Implementation

An Example of a Formal Cooperative Group Lesson

What Do Students Say About Cooperative Group Learning


3. Students as Peer Tutors and Partner Learners

Meet Some Peer Tutors

What is Peer Tutoring/Partner Learning?

Essential Ingredients of Peer Tutoring and Partner Learning

Getting Started with Peer Tutoring and Partner Learning

An Example of a Peer Tutoring/Partner Learning Lesson

Students' Views of Peer Tutoring and Partner Learning


4. Students as Co-Teachers

What is a Co-Teacher? What are Examples of Adults Co-Teaching with Students?

Co-Teaching Approaches

Challenges Faced by Student Co-Teachers

What Are Student Co-Teachers, Adult Co-Teachers, Administrators, and Learners in Co-Taught Classes Saying About Co-Teaching?


III. Decision-Making With Students

5. Empowering Students as Collaborative Creative Thinkers

Barriers to Creative Thinking and Action

Awareness Plans for Busting Barriers and Imagining Improvements

Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem-Solving (CPS) Process

Thinking for Collaborative Solution Finding—Focusing Upon What You Can Do


6. Students as Instructional Decision Makers

Collaborating with Students to Determine the Product of Learning

Collaborating with Students to Differentiate Instruction for Struggling Learners


7. Students as Designers of Their Own Learning

Defining and Nurturing Self-Determination

Making Action Plans (MAPs) as a Tool to Actualize Self-Determination

Student-Led Individualized Education Programs

Personal Learning Plans as a Tool to Teach Self-Determination

What Do Students Say About Self-Determination?


8. Students as Mediators of Conflict and Controversy

Examples of Everyday School Conflicts

Understanding Conflict

An Example of a Class-Wide or School-Wide Peer Mediation Program

A Lesson Plan Example: Learning Friendly Disagreeing Skills


9. Students as Collaborators in Responsibility

A "Circle of Courage" Definition of Responsibility

The Self-Discipline Pyramid


Epilogue: Beyond Benevolence to Befriending



A. Cooperative Group Learning Lesson Plan

B. Peer Tutor Lesson Plan

C. Co-Teaching Lesson Plan

D. Syllabus for High School Course for Teaching Students to Be Co-Teachers

E. Template for Product-Activity Matrix Integrating Bloom’s Taxonomy and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory

F. Template for Facts about the Learner, Classroom Demands, Mismatches, and Potential Solutions

G. Student Collaboration Quiz (for students)





Price: $43.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.