Collaborative Team Teaching

Self expression & acting

Collaborative Team Teaching

Collaborative team-teaching at WLPS is an approach to curriculum delivery where two teachers, often with timetabled EA assistance, share teaching responsibilities within a classroom setting. Collaborative team-teaching is a long-standing approach to teaching and has been practised in many schools, for many years.

Collaborative teaching at WLPS is always done by choice. If teachers choose to teach collaboratively, they will use their professional knowledge to contextualise their teaching program to suit their students and the curriculum. They may teach collaboratively in just one or two learning areas, or open the doors between their classrooms to create a larger ‘open classroom’. When collaborative team-teaching occurs, the ultimate responsibility for curriculum delivery, assessment and reporting of all students within a form group still lies with the individual teacher of that form class.

The success of collaborative teaching is dependent on the teachers, their ability to provide support for each other, the compatibility of their individual teaching styles and strengths, and their use of common approaches to teaching. It is for these reasons that collaborative teaching is often a choice our teachers make, if they are teaching in a year level with a ‘compatible’ colleague.

Teachers at WLPS believe that the benefits of collaborative team-teaching may include:

  • the opportunity to work in close collaboration, further to the opportunities that can be provided by the school in the form of Phase-of-Learning meetings and collaborative planning time,
  • the ability to use learning spaces more flexibly,
  • more flexibility with student groupings and an enhanced ability to differentiate the curriculum. This, in fact, results in more contact with a teacher – especially when students are arranged into ability groups,
  • the ability to use different models of teaching,
  • the greater opportunity to learn from a colleague/to provide feedback – especially if the teachers have different strengths. Ultimately, if teachers are paired effectively and schools have a strong performance-improvement culture (which WLPS does), this can result in improved teacher performance.
  • more continual, rigorous student assessment/diagnosis of learning needs and excellent moderation practices. This includes constant informal discussions about student needs/progress.

Other benefits include:

  • Students act more cooperatively with others, students are exposed to the views of more than one teacher (Goetz, 2000).
  • The variety of teaching approaches used by the team-teachers can reach a greater variety of learning (Brandenburg 1997)
  • The cooperation that the students observe between team teachers serves as a model for teaching students positive teamwork skills and attitudes. Benefits of team teaching include higher achievement, greater retention, improved interpersonal skills and an increase in regard for group work for both students and teachers (Robinson and Schaible, 1995)
  • Team-teaching provides opportunities for teachers to work differently in teams to collectively address diverse learners’ needs (Mackey, O’Reilly, Jansen & Fletcher, 2016)
  • Attention to developmentally appropriate educational experience at all age levels, and the development of high order technological skills with interactive media cannot be achieved effectively within an isolated, individualised teaching model (Leggett & Hoyle 1987; Purkey & Smith, 1983; Rosenholtz & Kyle 1984)
  • Teachers who traditionally control what was happening in their own class now consider what is happening in other classes and benefit from exposure to flexible classrooms (Bergen, 2012).