Diagnostic Teaching Teams

In many schools there are students whose learning and/or behaviors seem difficult to understand; what we are doing is not working and we know it, but we don’t know what to do that will work. Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project (TCICP) staff are in many schools across the city and frequently help teachers and administrators problem-solve around students whose learning and/or behavior is complex and interwoven with many variables.

We think of these students as “anomalous learners,” and what unites the TCICP staff is our unwavering commitment to analyze these students’ barriers to learning and then build structures to foster dynamic learning opportunities. This year, for the first time, TCICP, with sponsorship by the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), invites schools to send a “diagnostic team” to meet with us and colleagues from across the city. We will engage in sustained, systematic, case-study analysis of students and collaboratively plan structures and approaches to try out in the classroom and school.

We think of this project as detective work and know that many school personnel share this approach. It is grounded in: (1) taking a capacity – or assets – stance to students, their families, and their communities; (2) taking a relational approach to “behavior management,” knowing that people do best when there is respect and trust; (3) knowing that school personnel must work collaboratively in order to fully share the varying knowledge and expertise of staff. (We are all better at some things than others!)

The NYC DOE and TCICP will select 20 schools to participate in this yearlong collaborative inquiry.


  • The school must send a team, including:
    • An administrator (either an assistant principal or principal),
    • A general education teacher
    • A special education teacher
    • We also highly recommend the team include a member of the school’s clinical staff, such as psychologist, counselor, or social worker.
  • The school and team must commit to attending all six sessions.
  • The team members must commit to completing all of the data collection throughout the year.
  • One member of the team must commit to being the record keeper and case study writer.

There will be one team for grades PreK-5 (meeting from 12PM-2:30PM) and another for grades 6-12 (meeting from 9AM to 11:30AM).

Meeting Dates:

  • October 12th
  • December 7th
  • January 25th
  • March 1st
  • March 29th
  • May 24th

Registration is now open through the DOE. Interested participants should log into the Special Education Office’s learning management system using their DOE email and password and click on these offerings listed under the “Featured Training” tab as seen below: