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Section 1: A Nod to the Literature

What is Co-Teaching?

According to The Academy for Co-Teaching and Collaboration, co-teaching is when two or more professionals work together as they plan for, instruct,  and assess a shared group of students in a common space. 


To more fully understand co-teaching, it may be easier to consider what it is not.  Co-teaching is NOT...

  1. One instructor teaching while one instructor is grading.

  2. One instructor teaching while one instructor is tutoring.

  3. One instructor teaching in one classroom while another is teaching in a separate space.

  4. One instructor teaching literacy while the other is teaching math.

Co-Planning and Co-Teaching

The Academy for Co-Teaching and Collaboration identifies myriad benefits for co-teaching as a mentoring structure.  These include increased opportunities for 1) using flexible grouping 2) collaborating with colleagues and 3) trying new strategies. Co-teaching can reduce the student/teacher ratio, which in turn creates opportunities for greater student engagement and participation.

Collaboration between co-teachers increases opportunities to effectively implement High Leverage Practices (HLPs). This partnership enhances data-based discussions that impact instructional decisions, creates new possibilities for differentiating instruction, and provides students with consistent access to individualized support.


Co-teaching is common practice in PK-12 classrooms, yet new teachers are not often prepared with a deep understanding of the models of co-teaching and/or how to plan to put the models into practice. Mentors of new teachers may need to provide support for developing an understanding of co-planning and co-teaching with new teachers. 


"Co-teaching is when two or more professionals work together as they plan for, instruct, and assess a shared group of students in a common space."

Incorporating coteaching during field experiences and internship provides teacher candidates with an introduction to and scaffolded practice with this important teaching approach. Research suggests effective implementation of co-teaching during internship positively impacted student learning (Bacharach, et al., 2010). 

Pause & Reflect


Directions: Pause and reflect on what you learned. Use the questions below to guide your thinking and record your thoughts in your Module 3 Companion Guide.

  1. What role might co-planning and co-teaching play in your mentoring of a teacher candidate or new teacher?

  2. What potential challenges do you anticipate?

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