Coteaching in Higher Education

A Case Study of Instructor Learning

  • Hannah H. Scherer Virginia Tech
  • Megan O’Rourke Virginia Tech
  • Rachel Seman-Varner Virginia Tech
  • Peter Ziegler Virginia Tech
Keywords: coteaching, collaboration, faculty learning, higher education, pedagogical change


Tenure-track faculty at research intensive universities have competing responsibilities in their role as both researchers and teachers, leading to barriers to pedagogical change. This has been well-documented in the sciences. Coteaching models of collaborative planning and teaching with an explicit goal of facilitating educator growth have been successful in increasing the use of research-based pedagogy in higher education settings. We documented our experiences coteaching in an undergraduate ecological agriculture course and, drawing on sociocultural views of faculty work as learning, identified opportunities for learning that occurred. We found that the collaborative teaching team structure provided timely access to pedagogical knowledge, the collaborative planning process was a mechanism for faculty learning, and observing members of the team teach provided opportunities for new insights. Coteaching has had significant, lasting impacts for the instructors. We recommend that universities implement coteaching as a mechanism for supporting faculty use of student-centered pedagogy.