One response to the disconnect between principle-based university methods courses and practice-oriented elementary school classrooms has been to create co-learning spaces by bringing prospective teachers (PSTs), practicing mentor teachers (MTs), and teacher educators together to explore key ideas related to teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to examine MTs’ and PSTs’ perspectives on their experiences in co-learning events designed to maximize co-construction of knowledge that might lessen the gap between theory and practice. Findings from the analysis of interviews with 16 PSTs and 22 MTs included numerous benefits of co-learning events, including opportunities for (a) MTs to learn about PSTs’ world and build relationships; (b) PSTs to learn from MTs’ practical knowledge; and (c) to foster diverse perspectives and mutually beneficial collaboration. Participants also described tensions related to positioning MTs and PSTs in collaborative roles. Implications for the design of co-learning events in teacher education are discussed.
- elementary education
- hybrid learning spaces
- pre-service teacher education
ASJC Scopus subject areas