Cresson, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College Professor of Education Dr. Sara Rutledge was recently published in the research journal for the National Association for Professional Development Schools. Rutledge’s article, titled “An Investigation of Mentor Teachers’ and Student Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions of Co-Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was co-authored by Dr. Mariha Shields and Dr. Sue Rieg.

In the article, Rutledge and her co-authors looked at the case studies of nine participants to learn more about the types of instructional activities used by mentor teachers and student teacher candidates to teach while schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also researched potential benefits and struggles that came with virtual co-teaching for mentor and student teachers.

One of the important findings from their research, Rutledge said, was the importance of professional development experiences for teachers in the areas of online technology and learning.

“Results of this study illustrated that student teacher candidates were more proficient with the technology tools and taught their classroom mentor teachers how to utilize technology effectively,” Rutledge said.

”This study also revealed the need for additional research in the following areas: co-teaching in a virtual environment, technology and infrastructure needs of public school districts, additional training in the use of instructional technology, and student engagement and motivation in the virtual classroom.”

Rutledge says that because of her research, she is planning on adding a special topics lecture on co-teaching in virtual environments to better prepare students in the Mount Aloysius education program for online teaching.

Rutledge, Shields, and Rieg will present their research at The Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Teacher Education Assembly conference in late October in Harrisburg.