An innovative and strategic way of teaching is Team Teaching. In 1984, Quinn and Kanter defined team teaching as “simply teamwork between two qualified instructors who, together, make presentations to an audience”. In simple terms, it is understood as a group of two or more qualified instructors who work together to plan, conduct and evaluate the performance of the same group of students. It is a well-organized system in which a team of instructors collectively impart instructions to a group of students. This concept allows the teachers to collaborate in teaching the concept. Hence, team teaching is also known as co-teaching or collaborative teaching.
In this blog, we will take you through the aim, features, pros, cons, types and strategies of team teaching.
Aims of Team Teaching
The following are the aims of team teaching:
· To increase class engagement and class participation
· To stimulate the students’ minds and encourage interaction and discussion
· To explain the concept in a more fluid and understandable way
· To make the best use of the teachers’ experience and expertise
· To make the best use of available resources in the educational institution
· To instil a sense of team spirit
· To manage internal conflicts
· To inculcate a sense of responsibility among teachers
· To enable flexibility in grouping students according to their aptitudes and interest
Features of Team Teaching
· Team teaching involves collaboratively planning, organizing, teaching and evaluating the same group of learners in a classroom
· Team teaching consists of two or more teachers
· The teachers may or may not be from the same area of expertise
· The teachers are responsible for the effective functioning of the class by taking on roles of a strategist, facilitator, analyzer, and decision-maker
· Before implementing any aspect in the classroom, the teachers discuss and plan the lesson
· Teachers in the team share insights and implement necessary changes
· Co-teaching is generally designed for a specific group of students
· The grouping of students is based on the students’ level similarity
· Team teaching encourages more debates and discussions in the classroom
· The teachers in a team teaching have the equal responsibilities
· Teachers deploy themselves in specific topics according to their expertise, experience, and line of interest.
· The teaching plan is very flexible and can be modified as per the requirements and the availability of educational resources
Types of Team Teaching
Team teaching refers to two or more experienced instructors teaching the same group of learners. There can be several types of the team teaching methods, depending on the kind of teachers and the role they play in teaching.
1. Team of experienced and fresher faculty
This approach involves a combination of experienced teachers and fresher teachers teaching the same students. This is not only effective for the students, but this collaboration also offers the newer teacher to observe, learn and gain insights from the experienced teacher. At the same time, she brings in her fresh and innovative ideas to the team.
2. Team of existing and special faculty
This approach involves a combination of regular teachers and a special faculty who may be brought in externally or from a different department of the same institute. The role of the special educators in the team is to provide a diverse learner’s experience and help students with special educational requirements.
3. Team of teachers of various expertise
It is more effective to have an interdisciplinary team. Different teachers with different expertise will address and fulfil the varied needs of the students. A multidisciplinary team can integrate other disciplines.
4. Teacher assistants
In this type, one teacher takes the lead in teaching the concept while the other can support students who require additional support. The assistant teacher is majorly responsible for increasing engagement in class and enhancing classroom management.
5. Divide and teach
The entire syllabus can be divided, and each teacher can teach a different part to the same student group. Each teacher would teach a part of the subject and let the other teacher continue with another topic. The teacher for each topic is responsible for planning and executing the concept.
6. Mixed teaching
Teachers combine together to share the responsibility of the class. The teachers in the team are responsible for planning and instructing the students. The teachers are actively involved in managing and teaching the class.
7. Parallel teaching
The class is divided into two groups. Teachers cover the same content simultaneously in different groups.
Pros of Team Teaching
· Team teaching is more interactive, engaging and breaks away from the monotony
· Students are provided diverse learning and active interaction from teachers of varied expertise
· Team teaching allows innovation in the classroom
· Team teaching induces a sense of team spirit and interdependence
· By working as a team, teachers provide an example of conflict management and respecting individual differences. Students inculcate these traits by observing the teachers.
· Team teaching promotes the maximum utilization of time and educational resources
· Teachers inculcate a sense of team spirit and belongingness as they work closely together
· Teachers learn to be more creative and innovative
· It encourages creativity and the implementation of novel ideas
· Team teaching encourages better class management skills in teachers
· Teachers can focus better on students and attend to their needs
· Teachers can address the students’ diverse learning requirements
· Collaborative teaching is an economical way to maximize learning outcomes
· Teachers have support from their team members to share their responsibilities.
· New teachers get enough guidance and direction from experienced faculty members.
Cons of Team Teaching
· The shift from traditional one teacher one subject teaching practice to creative, collaborative teaching can be challenging for teachers as well as students
· Teachers may not adapt to each other's technique, and conflict may arise
· If the teachers cannot coordinate with each other, the differences can affect the efficacy of team teaching
· Team teaching can also be a difficult change to adapt to for students
· Teachers may fall behind time to complete the syllabus, which may make collaborative teaching difficult
· Team teaching involves at least two teachers teaching one topic (different subtopics) or the same subject (different topics). Students may find it hard to get used to different styles of teaching
· It may not be easy to keep track of a student's performance
· Team teaching requires all the team members to put effort so if one falls behind time in their work, and the other teacher may have a negative effect on their work
· It demands more time and effort from teachers
· The lesson plan may require more discussion from all the team members and may not be executed properly
Strategies of effective team teaching
· Team teaching becomes extremely effective if there is proper planning
· Teachers should meet and discuss strategies periodically
· Meticulous documentation of every account is essential to understand what worked and what did not work
· While grouping the students, teachers should group them according to their learning requirements and aptitude
· The teams must be formed keeping the students’ requirements in mind
· Teachers and students should be open to changes
· Teachers and students should be ready to accept innovative ideas and practices
Team teaching is collaborative teaching for increased engagement and effective teaching. It has its pros and cons. However, this innovative approach will be executed effectively if properly planned and coordinated. Teachers must weigh and implement the pros of any teaching practice over its drawbacks to provide the students with the knowledge and best learning experience.