University of Copenhagen Researchers Explore Co-Teaching Practices at Granada Hills Charter

University of Copenhagen Researchers Explore Co-Teaching Practices at Granada Hills Charter
Jordan Duke

Identified as an Observation Site through a $200,000 grant opportunity under Charter Operated Programs, GHC has hosted researchers from Switzerland, Australia and Denmark over the past 3 years.

Granada Hills Charter (GHC) welcomed a distinguished team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen's Faculty of Social Education, Social Work, and Administration to delve into the innovative Co-Teaching model employed at the school. Over three intensive days, the Danish researchers immersed themselves in observing Co-Teaching in action across various subjects and programs.

Co-Teaching, a collaborative instructional approach involving both general education and special education teachers, lies at the heart of GHC's commitment to inclusive education. It facilitates the delivery of specially designed instruction to students with disabilities within the least restrictive environment, aligning with the mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

During their visit, the Copenhagen researchers engaged with GHC's Special Programs faculty, staff, and students to gain insights into the implementation and impact of Co-Teaching. They observed a spectrum of classes, including Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, where Co-Teaching teams seamlessly orchestrated instruction to meet the diverse needs of students. Notably, the researchers also explored GHC's Special Day Program (SDP), where students receive tailored support within a mainstream educational setting.

Dr. Wendy Murawski, from the ED Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and a professor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), has been instrumental in shaping GHC's Co-Teaching model over the past 17 years. Her expertise and collaboration with GHC have catalyzed the development of robust inclusive practices, recognized with a Gold Ribbon award in 2017.

Joy Kasper, Administrative Director of Special Programs at GHC, expressed her enthusiasm for the cross-cultural exchange, highlighting the positive impact on students and families. The visit underscores GHC's role as an Observation Site, supported by a grant exceeding $200,000, aimed at advancing Co-Teaching practices in collaboration with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the charter community.

The Danish researchers, Janne Hedegaard Hansen, Mette Molbæk, and Charlotte Riis Jensen, were particularly impressed by the seamless integration of Co-Teaching into GHC's educational fabric. Their observations revealed how Co-Teaching fosters an inclusive learning environment, where students of all abilities thrive and access high-quality instruction.

Looking ahead, GHC educators are eager to further refine their Co-Teaching practices, building on the insights gained from the visit. Plans are underway to expand Co-Teaching initiatives across all content areas, ensuring equitable access to the general education curriculum for students with diverse learning needs.

Granada Hills Charter's collaboration with the University of Copenhagen exemplifies its steadfast commitment to excellence in education, where innovative pedagogical practices empower every student to succeed academically and socially.

For media inquiries and/or to interview GHC’s Administrative Director of Special Programs, Joy Kasper about the department’s initiatives, please contact Jordan Duke from the School’s Communications Office at (818) 360-2361 or by emailing media@ghctk12.com.