Physics Education Research (PER) has made significant progress in developing effective instructional strategies, but disseminating the background knowledge and strategies to other faculty has proven difficult. Co-teaching is a promising and cost-effective alternative to traditional professional development which may be applicable in particular situations. We discuss the theoretical background of co-teaching and describe our initial experience with it. A new instructor (Famiano) co-taught an introductory calculus-based physics course with an instructor experienced in PER-based reforms (Henderson). The pair taught within the course structure typically used by Henderson and met regularly to discuss instructional decisions. An outsider (Beach) conducted separate interviews with each instructor and observed several class sessions. Classroom observations show an immediate use of PER-based instructional practices by the new instructor. Interviews show a significant shift in the new instructor’s beliefs about teaching and intentions of future use of PER-based instructional approaches.

1.
E.
Seymour
, “
Tracking the process of change in U. S. undergraduate education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology
,”
Sci. Educ.
86
,
79
105
(
2001
).
2.
J.
Handelsman
,
D.
Ebert-May
,
R.
Beichner
,
P.
Bruns
,
A.
Chang
,
R.
DeHaan
,
J.
Gentile
,
S.
Lauffer
,
J.
Stewart
,
S. M.
Tilghman
, and
W. B.
Wood
, “
EDUCATION: Scientific teaching
,”
Science
304
(
5670
),
521
522
(
2004
).
3.
R. B.
Barr
and
J.
Tagg
, “
From teaching to learning—A new paradigm for undergraduate education
,”
Change
27
(
6
),
13
25
(
1995
).
4.
National Research Council
,
The National Science Education Standards
(
The National Academies Press
,
Washington, DC
,
1996
), p.
2
.
5.
National Research Council
,
Improving Undergraduate Instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics: Report of a Workshop
(
The National Academies Press
,
Washington, DC
,
2003
), p.
27
.
6.
L.
Cuban
,
How Scholars Trumped Teachers: Change Without Reform in University Curriculum, Teaching, and Research 1890–1990
(
Teachers College Press
,
New York
,
1999
).
7.
R. F.
Elmore
, “
Getting to scale with good educational practice
,”
Harv. Educ. Rev.
66
(
1
),
1
26
(
1996
).
8.
S.
Loucks-Horsley
,
P.
Hewson
,
N.
Love
, and
K.
Stiles
,
Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics
(
Corwin Press
,
Thousand Oaks, CA
,
1998
);
M.
Ben-Peretz
, “
Teacher stress and curriculum innovations in science teaching
,” in
Science Education: From Theory to Practice
, edited by
A.
Hofstein
,
B.
Eylon
, and
G.
Giddings
(
Weizmann Institute of Science
,
Rehovot, Israel
,
1995
).
9.
M.
Fullan
,
The New Meaning of Educational Change
, 3rd ed. (
Teachers College Press
,
New York
,
2001
).
10.
A. J.
Kezar
, “
Understanding and facilitating organizational change in the 21st Century: Recent research and conceptualizations
,”
ASHE-ERIC Higher Educ. Rep.
28
(
4
),
1
162
(
2001
).
11.
C.
Henderson
and
M.
Dancy
, “
Barriers to the use of research-based instructional strategies: The influence of both individual and situational characteristics
,”
Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
3
(
2
),
020102
1
(
2007
).
12.
National Research Council
,
Improving Undergraduate Instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Report of A Workshop
(
The National Academies Press
,
Washington, DC
,
2003
).
13.
R. M.
Felder
and
R.
Brent
, “
Navigating the bumpy road to student-centered instruction
,”
Colle. Teach.
44
,
43
47
(
1996
);
T. F.
Slater
, “
When is a good day teaching a bad thing?
,”
Phys. Teach.
41
(
7
),
437
438
(
2003
).
14.
E.
Mazur
,
Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual
(
Prentice Hall
,
Upper Saddle River, NJ
,
1997
).
15.
J. R.
Hutchinson
and
M.
Huberman
, “
Knowledge dissemination and use in science and mathematics education: A literature review
,”
J. Sci. Educ. Technol.
3
(
1
),
27
47
(
1994
), p. 33.
16.
C.
Lewis
,
R.
Perry
, and
A.
Murata
, “
How should research contribute to instructional improvement? The case of lesson study
,”
Educ. Res.
35
(
3
),
3
14
(
2006
).
17.
C.
Henderson
, “
The challenges of instructional change under the best of circumstances: A case study of one college physics instructor
,”
Am. J. Phys.
73
(
8
),
778
786
(
2005
).
18.
C.
Henderson
and
M.
Dancy
, “
When one instructor’s interactive classroom activity is another’s lecture: Communication difficulties between faculty and educational researchers
,” paper presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting, Albuquerque, NM,
2005
.
19.
Boyer Commission on Undergraduates in the Research Universities
, “
Reinventing undergraduate education: A blueprint for America’s research universities
” (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,
1998
);
J.
Hutchinson
and
M.
Huberman
, Report No. NSF 93-75,
1993
;
R.
Yerrick
,
H.
Parke
, and
J.
Nugent
, “
Struggling to promote deeply rooted change: The ‘filtering effect’ of teachers’ beliefs on understanding transformational views of teaching science
,”
Int. J. Sci. Educ.
81
,
137
159
(
1997
);
J. W.
Stigler
and
J.
Hiebert
,
The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World’s Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom
(
The Free Press
,
New York
,
1999
);
J. P.
Spillane
,
Standards Deviation: How Schools Misunderstand Educational Policy
(
Harvard U. P.
,
Cambridge, MA
,
2004
).
20.
J.
Mitchell
and
P.
Marland
, “
Research on teacher thinking: The next phase
,”
Teach. Teach. Educ.
5
,
115
128
(
1989
).
21.
D. C.
Berliner
, “
Ways of thinking about students and classrooms by more and less experienced teachers
,” in
Exploring Teachers’ Thinking
, edited by
J.
Calderhead
(
Cassell Educational Limited
,
London
,
1987
), pp.
60
83
.
22.
S. M.
Wilson
,
L. S.
Shulman
, and
A. E.
Richert
, “
150 Different ways of knowing: Representations of knowledge in teaching
,” in
Exploring Teachers’ Thinking
, edited by
J.
Calderhead
(
Cassell Educational Limited
,
London
,
1987
);
J. H.
Van Driel
,
N.
Verloop
,
H. I.
Van Werven
, and
H.
Dekkers
, “
Teachers’ craft knowledge and curriculum innovation in higher engineering education
,”
Higher Educ.
34
,
105
122
(
1997
);
D. A.
Schon
,
The Reflective Practitioner
(
Basic Books
,
New York
,
1983
).
23.
H. L.
Dreyfus
and
S. E.
Dreyfus
, “
Why skills cannot be represented by rules
,” in
Advances in Cognitive Science
, edited by
N. E.
Sharkey
(
Ellis Horwood Limited
,
West Sussex, England
,
1986
).
24.
Rethinking Teaching in Higher Education: From a Course Design Workshop to a Faculty Development Framework
, edited by
A.
Saroyan
and
C.
Amundsen
(
Stylus Publishing
,
Sterling, VA
,
2004
).
25.
More information about the Workshop for New Physics and Astronomy Faculty can be found at ⟨www.aapt.org/Events/newfaculty.cfm⟩.
26.
R.
Boice
, “
New faculty as teachers
,”
J. Higher Educ.
62
(
2
),
150
173
(
1991
).
27.
S.
Farnham-Diggory
, “
Paradigms of knowledge and Instruction
,”
Rev. Educ. Res.
64
(
3
),
463
477
(
1994
).
28.
Reference 27, p.
464
.
29.
L.
McDermott
and
P. S.
Shaffer
,
Tutorials in Introductory Physics
(
Prentice Hall
,
Upper Saddle River, NJ
,
2002
).
30.
J.
Levinson-Rose
and
R. J.
Menges
, “
Improving college teaching: A critical review of research
,”
Rev. Educ. Res.
51
(
3
),
403
434
(
1981
);
J. D.
Emerson
and
F.
Mosteller
, “
Development programs for college faculty: Preparing for the twenty-first century
,” in
Educational Media and Technology Yearbook 2000
, edited by
R. M.
Branch
and
M. A.
Fitzgerald
(
Libraries Unlimited
,
Englewood, CO
,
2000
), Vol.
25
, pp.
26
42
.
31.
Reference 27, p.
466
.
32.
W.-M.
Roth
,
D.
Masciotra
, and
N.
Boyd
, “
Becoming-in-the-classroom: A case study of teacher development through coteaching
,”
Teach. Teach. Educ.
15
,
771
784
(
1999
).
33.
W.-M.
Roth
and
K.
Tobin
,
At the Elbow of Another: Learning to Teach by Coteaching
(
Peter Lang
,
New York
,
2002
).
34.
W.-M.
Roth
and
K.
Tobin
, “
Coteaching: From praxis to theory
,”
Teach. Teach. Theory Pract.
10
(
2
),
161
179
(
2004
).
35.
Reference 32, p.
774
.
36.

Student evaluations for the co-taught course were quite positive.

37.
C.
Henderson
and
A.
Rosenthal
, “
Reading questions: Encouraging students to read the text before coming to class
,”
J. Coll. Sci. Teach.
35
(
7
),
46
50
(
2006
).
38.
M.
Chi
and
K. A.
VanLehn
, “
The content of physics self-explanations
,”
J. Learn. Sci.
1
(
1
),
69
105
(
1991
).
39.
A.
Collins
,
J. S.
Brown
, and
A.
Holum
, “
Cognitive apprenticeship: Making thinking visible
,” American Educator (Winter) (
1991
), pp.
6
11
,
38
46
.
40.
R. E.
Stake
, “
Case studies
,” in
Strategies of Qualitative Inquiry
, edited by
N. K.
Denzin
and
Y. S.
Lincoln
(
Sage
,
Thousand Oaks, CA
,
1998
), pp.
86
109
.
41.
R. K.
Yin
,
Case Study Research: Design and Methods
, 3rd ed. (
Sage
,
Thousand Oaks, CA
,
2003
).
43.
M. B.
Miles
and
A. M.
Huberman
,
Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook
(
Sage
,
Thousand Oaks, CA
,
1994
).
44.
M.
Dancy
and
C.
Henderson
, “
Beyond the individual instructor: Systemic constraints in the implementation of research-informed practices
,” in
Proceedings of the 2004 AAPT Physics Education Research Conference
, edited by
S.
Franklin
,
J.
Marx
, and
P.
Heron
(
American Institute of Physics
,
Melville, NY
,
2005
), Vol.
790
;
K.
Murray
and
R.
Macdonald
, “
The disjunction between lecturers’ conceptions of teaching and their claimed educational practice
,”
Higher Educ.
33
(
3
),
331
349
(
1997
);
L.
Norton
,
J. T. E.
Richardson
,
J.
Hartley
,
S.
Newstead
, and
J.
Mayes
, “
Teachers’ beliefs and intentions concerning teaching in higher education
,”
Higher Educ.
50
,
537
571
(
2005
).
45.
Reference 26, p.
170
.
46.
P. L.
Eddy
and
R.
Mitchell
, “
Innovations: Co-teaching—training professionals to teach
,”
Nat. Teach. Learn. Forum
15
(
4
),
1
7
(
2006
).
47.
M. T. H.
Chi
and
K. A.
VanLehn
, “
The content of physics self-explanations
,”
J. Learn. Sci.
1
(
1
),
69
105
(
1991
).
AAPT members receive access to the American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.