Co-Teaching provides a comprehensive and rigorous experience for interns and enhances the quality of learning for P12 students. The Co-Teaching partnership enables clinical teachers to provide consistent mentoring, giving interns the time and support necessary to gain skills and the confidence required to teach successfully.
Since this article was published, the Co-Teaching initiative has grown from a few interns to 111 interns in 91 classrooms, representing seven teacher preparation programs at ECU. Such growth would not be possible without strong public school partnerships. Greene County Schools liaison to the Latham Clinical Schools Network at ECU, Gwen Smith, says her teachers are:
“just beginning to understand what a wonderful model (co-teaching) could be.”
“Over the past years, (fear of relinquishing the classroom) has been the biggest (deterrent),” Smith said. “They tell me ‘I can’t take an intern this year.’ But anytime you’ve got more than one teacher in the classroom, the students are certain to benefit.
“We want to get our best teachers for these interns—our master teachers. This 2-1 model works better.”
The Co-Teaching initiative’s team of lead faculty—Judy Smith, Liz Fogarty, Christina Tschida, and Vivian Covington—is actively working not only to improve and expand the initiative, but also to study its impact on clinical practice, the focus of NCATE’s Standard 3. Early co-teaching research is focusing on candidate learning outcomes and candidate efficacy in co-teaching settings. Preliminary findings indicate:
- Co-Teaching interns significantly outperformed non-Co-Teaching interns on two rubrics on the edTPA: Subject-Specific Pedagogy and Using Assessment to Inform Instruction.
- When surveyed, Co-Teaching interns indicated a higher degree of self-efficacy in their ability to differentiate instruction than that indicated by non-Co-Teaching interns.
For more on Co-teaching and NCATE Standard 3, see the ECU TI IR, Standard 3.