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Team Teaching

Team Teaching: Types

Team teaching signifies the teaching work and activities organized by a team of individuals comprising teachers, resource persons, clerical staff and other employees. Team teaching is quite popular and prevalent in western countries, while it is relatively a new concept in country like India. It is a an attempt to seek ways and means for bringing improvement in the process and product of teaching through collective efforts by a group of individuals, mostly teachers teaching in the same school.


A. Singer (1964): Team teaching may be defined “as an arrangement whereby two or more teachers cooperatively plan, teach and evaluate one or more class groups in an appropriate and agreed teaching plan and is given length of time so as to take advantage of specific competencies of the team members.”

Carlo-Olson (1971): Team teaching may be defined as “an instructional situation where two or more teachers possessing complimentary teaching skills cooperatively plan and implement the instruction for a single group of students using flexible scheduling and grouping technique to meet the particular instruction.”

David Warwick (1971): Team teaching represents “a form of organization in which individual teachers declared to pool resources, interests and expertise in order to devise and implement a scheme of work suitable to the needs of their students and the facilities of the institution.”

Haridwar (1986): “Team teaching is that organized form of the teaching structure in which two or more teachers cooperatively teach a particular subject or topic to a group of students”.

Characteristics of Team Teaching

  1. Team teaching is not a method of teaching but an organizational device to plan, execute and evaluate the teaching work in a cooperative way.
  2. It represents an arrangement of teaching-learning situation where two or more teachers join hands for achieving the desired teaching-learning objectives.
  3. The teaching team consists not only the teachers, but other personnel also such as laboratory assistant, librarian, clerk, expert from the relevant field and researchers, who may work together to help the teachers in their tasks.
  4. Team teaching works on the principles of joint responsibility shared by the members of the team.
  5. It calls upon the members to work hard for bringing improvement in the teaching-learning process.
  6. Team teaching provides autonomy and freedom to the members of the team to choose their teaching activities and responsibilities according to their interest and abilities.

Objectives of Team Teaching

  1. To bring improvement in the quality of instruction by making the best use of the available resources.
  2. To develop a feeling of joint responsibility of instruction.
  3. To make best utilization of the talents, interests, and expertise of the teachers.
  4. To provide better organization of the teaching-learning by increasing grouping and scheduling flexibility.
  5. To provide opportunity to a specific large or small group of students to take advantage of the specifically talented, experienced and more expert teachers, otherwise not available to them.
  6. To meet the needs and interest of the students and institutions and removing their difficulties relating to the teaching-learning of some specific contents or activities.
  7. To minimize the wastage and errors occurred in the instructional process.

Types of Team Teaching

Team teaching can be organized in various forms and styles, the common types are:

  1. Single disciplinary team teaching-

    In this type, the members of the team belong to the same institution and also from the same discipline or subject. For example, the science teacher teaching high-school classes may form a team for the teaching of science to a particular high school class.

  2. Interdisciplinary team teaching-

    Here, the teachers from different disciplines, but working in the same institution, join hands to take responsibility of teaching of topics belonging to their own discipline. This type of team teaching suits most to the teaching of the interdisciplinary subjects. For example, teaching of some foundation course that includes topics from various subjects, different teachers of the same institution belonging to these disciplines/subjects may form a team.

  3. Inter-institutional team teaching-

    In this type of team teaching, the members are not confined to the same institution. Here, we can the service of any talented teachers, experts etc. from any institution for dealing with some specialized field, topic, work activity, content material, etc., and in this way we can ask them to contribute in the capacity of the members of the team for a specific period, to teach a particular group of students.

Steps, Procedure of Team Teaching

Team teaching is carried out in a cooperative way by a team of persons. Every team has its leader and one or more cooperating teachers. Besides this, the team may have a clerk, a librarian, a laboratory assistant and other professional for the desired help according to the needs of the teaching-learning situation.

The procedure to team teaching mainly involves three main stages or steps: Planning, Execution and Evaluation

Planning Stage

At the planning stage, team teaching involves following activities:

  1. Decision about the topic to be taught.
  2. Formulating the objectives and writing them in behavioural terms.
  3. Identifying the initial behaviour of the learner.
  4. Identifying the available men and material resources.
  5. Selection of the members of team teaching, teachers, team leaders and other professional and non-professional helping hands.
  6. Taking decision about the tentative schedule, larger or small group teaching, the level of instruction and teaching strategy, etc.
  7. Distributing responsibilities among the members of the team according to their interest and abilities.
  8. Taking decision about the means and ways of evaluating the learning outcomes.

Execution Stage

What is planned by the leader of the team with the active cooperation of other members at the planning stage is put to work at the execution stage. Here the actual teaching is carried out by the members in the following three subsequent sessions:

  1. Large group session (general assembly)-

    In the beginning students are taught in a large group. Two or three sections of a class may be combined to form a large group. This group is taught by the most competent and expert teacher among the members of the team. All other members then provide the essential cooperation in his task.

  2. Small group session-

    After the general assembly, the students are divided into small groups. These groups work under the supervision of the individual teachers. Here, the teacher tries to discuss with the learners the common difficulties faced by them in understanding the material taught in the general assembly session. They may explain, illustrate, demonstrate and provide opportunities to them for doing experiments or other activities in the small groups.

  3. Individual study session-

    Following the activities in large group or small group sessions, the students are able to engage in self-study and do independent work on the individual level. Now students can go in library for independent reading, in laboratory for independent experimentation or in other work places for doing practical work. They can have drill and practice work or adopt other resources for self-study. Here, teachers and other members of team have responsibility of supervising, guiding, and directing the students on the right path.

Evaluation Stage

At the evaluation stage of team teaching, attempts are made for the evaluation of the progress and outcomes of the activities performed. The outcomes are subjected to evaluation in the light of the set objectives, the learner’s initial behaviour, the methods and strategies, planning, the responsibilities shared by the team members, etc. The evaluation of the student’s performance is done through oral, written and practical tests. Their sessional practice and homework also is evaluated from time to time.

Advantages of Team Teaching

  1. Team teaching provides opportunities for the best utilization of the talents and expertise of the experienced and devoted teachers in their respective fields.
  2. It helps in best utilization of the available material resources like audio-visual aids.
  3. It provides challenge and opportunities to the teachers for their proper professional growth. Here, the young and less experienced teachers get opportunities to work with the experienced and talented ones.
  4. Team teaching helps in getting better learning opportunities to the students in comparison to the traditional teaching.
  5. Both the teachers and the learners get opportunities to interact with the experts in a subject or a specialized field.
  6. Team teaching works on the principle of cooperation and shared responsibility. Cooperative attitude, helping nature and team spirit of team members, make the students to imbibe such things automatically and helps in their social development.
  7. It helps in reducing the labour of the individual teacher.
  8. It helps in maintaining discipline as team teaching is carried out by members of the team in a cooperative way.
  9. Team teaching is proven an effective training technique.

Drawbacks and Limitation

  1. Proper sharing of responsibilities is required in team teaching which is quite difficult job.
  2. It is difficult in maintaining harmony and understanding in team teaching as it requires proper understanding and cooperation among members.
  3. Team teaching for its success demands a lot from teachers which lays too much expectation from teachers.
  4. The organization of team teaching requires proper space and material facilities in terms of big hall, large rooms, furniture, laboratory, teaching aids etc.
  5. It is expensive in terms of finances.
  6. Team teaching requires appropriate planning and its execution, which itself is not a simple task.
  7. Lack of accountability as compared to traditional teaching.

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