Month: June 2013

The Talent Development High School Program


The Patterson High School in Baltimore, Maryland was the place where an alternative educational model was launched in 1994 by the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk. This approach was known as the Talent Development High School and is an entire reform intervention. One of its components is dropout prevention.

Utilizing the convenience of stacking chairs, this program includes breaking the larger high school environment into smaller learning communities. The school has a separate ninth grade academy; the upper grades have a ‘career academy’ and a “Twilight School” which is an after-school preparatory program in ninth and tenth grade. TDHS puts a higher than usual focus on Math and English courses.

TDHS was brought into the limelight by President Obama in a speech he made in March, 2010. Obama called on states to focus on their schools where the dropout rate is 40 percent or higher. These schools could be eligible for federal aid. The President’s budget proposal included $900 million in “school turnaround grants” in addition to the $3.5 billion which his administration already committed to schools which are consistently doing poorly.

Inspirational Education

Approaches to Co-Teaching

Co-teaching was designed to respond to the educational requirements of students with a variety of alternative options. There are a few different ways of co-teaching. Before signing up your child with an institution that offers co-teaching, take some brochures from the administrator at the reception desk to figure out which methods are being offered. There is the option of the observer when the teacher figures out ahead of time what type of observational data needs to be garnered during instruction. Thereafter a system for garnering that data is agreed upon and the teachers then analyze it together.

There is also the case where there is one individual who keeps main responsibility for teaching while the other one circulates around the room providing help where necessary. With the parallel teaching approach, students are helped by getting additional teacher supervision as well as time to respond. Teachers cover the same information but divide the class into two groups to teach them in separate groups.

With station teaching, teachers divide content and students. Alternative teaching has one teacher being in charge of the large group and the other, of the small group. Team teaching calls for both teachers to give over the same instruction at the same time. While this is sometimes seen as the most complicated way to co-teach, it is often also the most successful and satisfying.