I have only experienced team teaching as a student once. A professor taught the theory portion of a mathematics course for the first half of the semester and his PhD student taught the application portion of the course for the second half. The process seemed very disjointed as I had to adjust to a different teaching style halfway through a course. The second time team teaching arose again was when discussions arose during a department meeting when discussing alternative methods for teaching our courses. The idea was that an instructor taught the theory portion of a course and then a member of our department taught the software application portion. Again, this same disjoint method I had previously experienced was apparent and I didn’t support it.
My misunderstandings of team teaching was made apparent upon reading Brookfield’s chapter regarding diversity in student learning. He regrets to inform us that “what often passes for team teaching is sometimes only an agreement amongst a group of colleagues to divide a course into several discrete and different segments, each of which is the sole responsibility of the team. This is sequenced solo teaching, not team teaching” (Brookfield, 2006, p. 159). To understanding the differences between sequenced solo teaching and team teaching, I’d like to draw your attention to the following Twitter post.
The next time team teaching becomes a discussion point during a department meeting I will make sure I mention my findings and how this approach to team teaching can benefit ourselves and our students.
Brookfield, S. D. (2006). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom (Second ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.