In a co‑teaching model, two teachers work together in a classroom, sharing the planning, organization, delivery, and assessment of instruction. During the 70s, general teachers and special educators used co‑teaching to work side-by-side, allowing students with disabilities to remain in their classrooms. Since, applications of co-teaching have expanded to include multilingual educators, intervention specialists, and student teachers.
Co-teaching is a powerful way to introduce student teachers to the profession through experiences that model strong practice, mentorship strategies, and professional reflection, all key parts of classroom success.
Co-teachers who collaborate to support language learners, special education students, and content integration boost achievement and form deep, meaningful relationships with both colleagues and students. Co-taught classrooms maximize the strengths of each teacher, creating an environment that not only meets student needs but energizes the learning experience.
St. Cloud State pioneered, researched, and implemented a new approach to student teaching/residency that utilizes an innovative co-teaching model. The four-year study, “Changing the Face of Student Teaching Though Co-Teaching,” was originally undertaken through a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement Partnership Grant for $5 million awarded in 2003.
Researchers Nancy L. Bacharach, Teresa W. Heck, and Kathryn Dahlberg examined the differences between a co-teaching model and a traditional, non-co-teaching model of student teaching/residency. The study’s results confirmed the co-teaching model's benefits, with K–6 students who were co-taught in reading and math outperforming students taught with the traditional model.
The Academy for Co-Teaching and Collaboration provides professional development, training, and support services to St. Cloud State teacher candidates/residents. The Academy also provides these services on a consulting basis to colleges, universities, and district schools looking to enhance their student teaching/residency, special education, or general education programs.