The terms co-teaching and inclusion are often used synonymously, but in fact their meanings are not the same. Co-teaching occurs when two qualified teachers (often a regular education teacher and a special education teacher) share in the delivery of the lesson and in overseeing practice. With co-teaching also comes common planning. The teachers must plan together in order for co-teaching to be an effective instructional technique and for students to get the most out of the lesson. The regular education teacher is most often the content expert, and the special education teacher is the strategy expert. When both work together, the benefits that all students in the classroom are afforded are endless.
Inclusion refers to students with and without disabilities being served or taught in the same setting or regular education classroom. Individuals also refer to inclusion as a regular education teacher and a special education teacher being in the same classroom. Inclusion is only effective if it is coupled with co-teaching.