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Title:Cooperative Work in Teacher Teams: A Case Study
Author(s):Martin, Marilyn Lee
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:Seven teacher teams in two middle schools were studied to determine the work shared by team members and to identify features in the setting which promote or inhibit their cooperation. Data were obtained by observing teams at work, interviewing building and district staff, and examining school documents.
Among the teams observed, joint or cooperative planning and/or delivery of instruction rarely occurred. Instead, individual teachers retained responsibility for all instructional tasks and worked independently. Teams did, however, take a cooperative approach to several administrative jobs such as counseling individual students, conferring with parents, and planning and implementing team-wide events and activities. This arrangement contrasts with definitions of teams found in the literature where teams are described primarily in terms of a shared instructional function. Data from the present study reveal a number of administrative duties accomplished by teams, suggesting the need for revision in the notion of teams as exclusively instructional units.
Several situational features which shaped both the nature and the extent of cooperation in teams were identified and discussed. Prominent influences on teams' cooperative work are the physical structure of the school, the organization of the curriculum, patterns of grouping students for instruction, teacher status as volunteer or draftee to the team, teacher choice in selection of a team and a teaching assignment within the team, staff turnover and absenteeism, personal reliability of team members and their willingness to bear a fair share of the team workload, the number of staff members on a team, the manner in which teams defined the role and status of the team leader, the provision of a non-teaching staff member in each school to assist teams, and administrative support. A number of specific strategies used by particularly productive teams for organizing and accomplishing joint work are described. Areas in which a school change agent might intervene to promote cooperation in teams are suggested.
Issue Date:1981
Description:206 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8127636
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1981

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