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This study examined advantages and disadvantages of team teaching and elements of successful teams from the perspective of eight teachers and a principal at one elementary school. The teachers were all participants in several types of school teams. During individual interviews, they discussed their thoughts and feelings about team teaching. Their interviews touched on six topics: elements they considered essential for teams to work; elements they considered potentially leading to failure of the team; benefits of working as team members; drawbacks of working as team members; benefits of team teaching for students; and miscellaneous thoughts. Overall, teachers had a positive view of team teaching, with some drawbacks noted. Positive aspects included more effective instruction and personal and professional support. Drawbacks included loss of benefits associated with having one class all day, loss of spontaneity, decentralization of decision making, and having to compromise. Elements of successful teams included supportive school policy, good school-building design, and desirable personality traits and behavior (e.g., honesty, the ability to communicate, flexibility, and confidence). Elements of unsuccessful teams included undesirable personality traits such as egotism, cynicism, and non- cooperation. Benefits to students included more effective teaching due to collaboration and having more than one teacher knowing each student. The 10 appendixes contain transcribed interviews. (Contains 15 references.) (SM)

Descriptors: Collegiality, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Interpersonal Competence, Peer Relationship, Principals, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Collaboration, Team Teaching, Teamwork

Autor: Shields, Julia L.


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