Jumping the hurdles: Establishing middle school teams
Small learning communities are an integral feature of middle schooling practice. Across Australian education systems, the creation of small teaching 'teams' responsible for the same group of students has been a strategy frequently adopted to develop small learning communities. Recently, the formation of these teams has been identified as a critical issue for middle school reform. Successful formation of a middle school teaching team requires a commitment by administration (top-down) and team members (bottom-up) to establishing a structure and culture of teamwork. A year-long study into the formation and subsequent development of middle school teaching teams highlighted the need for schools introducing team practices to consider the cultural aspects of the wider school community that are needed to support and maintain teams over time. That is, the culture of the school should support team practices by providing such necessary supports as time and resources (i.e., training and administrative support). Along with analysis of individual semi-structured interviews, participant and observation notes, literature on evidence-led theory of organizational culture provides an understanding of the challenges of establishing a teaming culture in Australian middle schools.
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development