Interdisciplinary Team Teaching
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- Ball, D. E. (2009). Co-teaching an interdisciplinary literacy methods course. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 15(4), 171-177. Permalink
Two professors of reading redesigned, merged, and co-taught their respective methods courses (one elementary, one special education) to foster "literacy for all" through interdisciplinary content and collaboration. The characteristic needs of students with learning disabilities and the instructional strategies that promote their literacy acquisition were infused throughout the course. This study describes the professors' co-teaching process and the course learning activities designed to foster collaboration. Qualitative data reveal the impact on teacher candidates' conceptualizations of literacy and its instruction. Findings extend the literature on collaboration and co-teaching, specifically in the context of teacher preparation.
- Beck, A. (2006). Adventures in team teaching: Integrating communications into an engineering curriculum. Teaching English in the Two-Year College, 34(1), 59-69. Permalink
This article recounts how a communications and an engineering department instituted a team-teaching venture to supplement engineering students' communication skills in a discipline-specific context.
- Cowan, M. A., & Others, A. (1995). Creating conversations: An experiment in interdisciplinary team teaching. College Teaching, 43(4), 127-31.
Three courses in the adult education division of Loyola University (Louisiana) combined religious studies and literature appreciation using an interdisciplinary, team-taught approach. Instruction was guided by the metaphor of conversation, first through collegial discussion of the ideas underlying the courses and later, in the classroom, in the form of small group discussion, journal writing, and other writing assignments.
- Evans, E., Tindale, J., Cable, D., & Mead, S. H. (2009). Collaborative teaching in a linguistically and culturally diverse higher education setting: A case study of a postgraduate accounting program. Higher Education Research and Development, 28(6), 597-613.
This paper reflects on the project's interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to diversity in the classroom by tracing its growth and development and describing the way in which it is supporting the integration of professional communication skills and discipline-specific content within the Master of Accounting program. In particular, the paper demonstrates that discipline specialists working in a continuous and collaborative relationship with English language specialists, to integrate and assess communication skills and enrich the curriculum, leads to better outcomes for students and staff. The paper contributes to a growing literature on approaches that integrate particular graduate attributes into programs with diverse student populations, rather than bolt-on interventions by language specialists that have limited outcomes.
- Fauvel, A. M., Miller, L. K., Lane, P., & Farris, J. (2010). Reflections on an interdisciplinary, community-based, team-taught adventure. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 58(1), 40-46.
A new team-taught course focused on interdisciplinary teaching and integrative learning was offered at Grand Valley State University during the Summer of 2008 at a regional campus in Holland, Michigan. Faculty from Engineering and Business developed this community-based, alternative-format course to engage students in the question: "What will the community look like in 10 years?" A unique, four-week-long course emerged: Socially Conscious Innovation. Given the nontraditional nature of the course, the faculty engaged a fellow faculty member and a campus administrator to solicit feedback in the following areas: course architecture, interdisciplinary team teaching, and community involvement. This article outlines the educational philosophies and guiding principles used in developing Socially Conscious Innovation, and provides a summary of faculty, administrator, and student feedback used to improve the course for the upcoming year.
- Kleiman, J., & Tharp, J. (1996). A case study in interdisciplinary team teaching: The plains indians since 1860. Transformations, 7(2), 11-23. Permalink
Describes an interdisciplinary college course on the Plains Indians, team-taught by history and literature professors. Outlines issues related to team teaching, organization of course content and selection of print and video instructional materials, classroom practice, and lessons learned. A course outline and exam essay questions are appended.
- Krometis, L. H., Clark, E. P., Gonzalez, V., & Leslie, M. E. (2011). The "death" of disciplines: Development of a team-taught course to provide an interdisciplinary perspective for first-year students. College Teaching, 59(2), 73-78.
This article describes the development, execution, and assessment of a unique effort in interdisciplinary teaching in which four doctoral candidates from widely varying home disciplines collaborated to create and teach a "truly interdisciplinary" course for first-year students centered on the pervasiveness of humankind's quest for immortality. Assessment of the course indicates several desirable student outcomes, including the development of a more mature world view and appreciation for different epistemologies, which recommend the continuation of this and similar interdisciplinary efforts. While students at times found the enormous number of disciplines potentially related to the central topic overwhelming, at the conclusion of the course, they largely identified the exposure to new perspectives as an exciting and worthwhile academic experience. Similar interdisciplinary efforts in the classroom are encouraged, though ample course development time is recommended to maximize success.
- Lessor, R., Reeves, M., & Andrade, E. (1997). Interdisciplinary team teaching on sustainable development in costa rica. Teaching Sociology, 25(2), 134-49.
Describes the development and implementation of an interdisciplinary field course in Costa Rica focused on sustainable development. The semester-long curriculum integrated sociology, political economy, and agricultural ecology. The curriculum was empirically based and involved faculty members and students working collaboratively on different sites. Includes a listing of the students' reports.
- Letterman, M. R., & Dugan, K. B. (2004). Team teaching a cross-disciplinary honors course: Preparation and development. College Teaching, 52(2), 76.
Collaborative teaching is used in many college and university programs to foster student enthusiasm and inquiry and to promote interdisciplinary learning. A literature review reveals benefits and pitfalls, but it lacks sufficient information for instructing team teachers in planning collaborative courses. In this article, we outline suggestions from a combination of sources, including informal written and verbal conversations with faculty members and our own experience. Collaborators for a team-taught course should talk to experienced others, review the literature, become acquainted with one another's teaching style, open the channels for communication, and anticipate and plan for interjecting and turn-taking strategies, potential power dimensions, and sources of conflict.
- Linantud, J. (2003). Team-teaching an interactive and community-based methods course: A case study. Permalink
This paper addresses nontraditional methods and issues involved in presenting a productive undergraduate political science course that provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities to aid good citizenship and a variety of career choices. This educators incorporated team teaching, cross training, original research, and small group work, and invited local organizations to supply investigative topics to the class. Despite problems associated with these issues, methods teachers should consider carefully adopting several of the features of this course. Cross training would require teachers to explore techniques associated more with comparative politics and international relations, and both cross training and original research would necessitate a class separate from statistics. Team teaching and small group work may also be unavoidable. As long as the rules and expectations are recognized and enforced among all participants, team teaching, small group work, and even community outreach can succeed. Appended are instructor evaluations, course syllabi, and additional information. (Author/BT)
- McKinley, B., & Princeton Univ, NJ Mid-Career,Fellowship Program. (1996). An examination of team-taught interdisciplinary courses. Permalink
Over the past decade, faculty in the Humanities department at Raritan Valley Community College, in New Jersey, have developed two interdisciplinary, team-taught courses organized on a thematic basis. To determine student and faculty perceptions of these courses, the college distributed questionnaires to students in one of the courses, conducted follow-up interviews with 10 students 1 year after participation, and surveyed 13 faculty who had participated in the team-taught courses. Study findings, based on responses from 25 enrolled students, the 10 interviews, and responses from 11 faculty, included the following: (1) faculty and students found team-taught, interdisciplinary teaching both stimulating and enjoyable; (2) students felt that the approach led to a broader and deeper understanding of the material; (3) faculty stated that their students exhibited a greater interest in the course material than in traditional classes and seemed to enjoy the instruction; (4) faculty were also very satisfied with the learning environment provided by the course, since it required students to think and write at levels not often present in traditional courses; and (5) both students and faculty viewed the team approach to grading student assignments favorably. Contains 13 references. The survey instruments, with mean responses and standard deviations, and course announcements are appended.
- Perry, B., & Stewart, T. (2005). Insights into effective partnership in interdisciplinary team teaching. System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, 33(4), 563-573.
There is a growing interest in collaboration amongst teachers at all levels. One of the most intensive collaborative experiences is "team teaching," a course with one or more colleagues. The authors have been involved in team teaching for a combined total of 25 years. This study investigates the question of how colleagues from different disciplines can achieve an effective partnership in team teaching. Fourteen practicing team teachers were interviewed over a two-year period at a small English-medium liberal arts college in Japan. The interviews were all recorded on videotape and were transcribed for later content analysis. The content of the first set of interviews provided the main themes for a more in-depth exploration in the second interview set. Analyses of these interview transcripts revealed key elements for effective partnership in interdisciplinary team teaching. These elements are presented in the paper through the words of the team teachers recorded in the interviews. The paper concludes with some general reflections on how these key elements of effective partnership in team teaching relate to the wider teaching community.
- Shibley, I. A., Jr. (2006). Interdisciplinary team teaching: Negotiating pedagogical differences. College Teaching, 54(3), 271-274.
Four different team teaching experiences are described with collaborators from a variety of disciplines. The pedagogical differences between the teachers created unique challenges. A description of each collaboration is provided, followed by an analysis of the four experiences. An examination of the challenges that arose are summarized to facilitate planning for teachers who might be considering team teaching.
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