Effective middle school teacher teams: a ternary model of interdependency rather than a catch phrase
The introduction of middle schooling in Australia has brought about changes to the working conditions of many teachers including finding themselves in teacher teams. The formation of such teams has been identified as critical to Australian middle school reform with teacher teams underpinning several of the fundamental components of a middle school philosophy. For teachers, however, changing their previous practice is a challenging task. Imposed changes often demand new knowledge and skills that teachers are unlikely to have met in their own education or developed in their preceding classroom work. However, changes in teaching practices must be complemented by changes at the school level. That is, individual learning must be supported by concurrent organisational learning. Using structured interviews and participant as observer field notes, this study focused on identifying factors at individual, team and school levels that could enable or hinder the successful implementation of teaching teams. At an individual level, we found that it took time for teachers to learn and perfect the necessary new forms of instruction. At a team level, team processes were shown to need administrative support (i.e. resources both human and physical), and at a school level, the norms and customs that shape a school's culture were shown to either promote or frustrate teaming practices.
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development