Learning to teach: examining the benefits and challenges of coteaching during student teaching

Kotch-Jester, Stephanie A.
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University of Delaware
Decades ago, the educational reform movement initiated discussions about teacher preparation. Several findings concurred that teaching programs failed to prepare teacher candidates for the realities of the classroom by not providing ample time or experience in the classroom (Bullough, 1990; Guyton & McIntyre, 1990; Griffin, 1989; Lanier & Little, 1986). Many teacher education programs also fail to support inquiry-oriented teaching and reflection (Howey & Zimpher, 1989). Today, researchers continue to question the traditional methods of teacher preparation, including the lack of preparation to teach in collaborative settings (Parker, Allen, McHatton & Rosa, 2010; Dieker & Murawski, 2003; Fennick & Liddy, 2001). My research explores the implementation of coteaching within national and international contexts as well as examining a self-designed coteaching model within an elementary student teaching experience. Teacher candidates' and cooperating teachers' perceptions of the coteaching experiences are captured through focus group interviews and individual interviews. The results of these findings are aimed at improving the University of Delaware Elementary Teacher Education program's student teaching experience.