Innovation at St. Cloud State University: The Coteaching Model

The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. For more information, contact Zach VanHouten at

Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University has transformed its clinical preparation of teachers with a move from traditional student teaching to a coteaching model. This model has proven successful for PK-12 learners, teacher candidates, and cooperating teachers alike.

Coteaching puts two adults in the classroom—the candidate and the cooperating teacher—allowing students more time to engage with an adult and more flexible peer grouping. The model also eases candidates’ transition into independent teaching and provides cooperating teachers with new pedagogical opportunities as well as professional support from the university.

A 4-year study of elementary students’ test scores compared the impact of coteaching versus traditional student teaching. Researchers found a positive effect on both reading and math scores for students in cotaught classrooms compared to those with a traditional student teacher, and even compared to those with only a single experienced teacher. Other research has found a favorable impact from coteaching on older students and on cooperating teachers.

To learn more about St. Cloud State University or other institutions participating in the Innovations Inventory, visit

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