Vol. 13 (2006)
Articles

Team Teaching at the Primary Level: Insights into Current Practice in Trinidad and Tobago

Margaret E. Cain
Corinth Teachers' College/The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, School of Education
Bio
Iris P. Hewitt-Bradshaw
Corinth Teachers' College/The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, School of Education
Bio

Keywords

  • Primary Schools,
  • Teaching Methods,
  • Team Teaching,
  • Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract

Team teaching, is an arrangement that is sometimes used to organize instruction in primary schools in Trinidad and Tobago, and its use needs to be documented. This qualitative study used the principle of maximum variation to select four teaching teams and to investigate the factors that determine the introduction of team teaching, the organization and functioning of the teams, and the perceived benefits and challenges. Data gathered from interviews with the principals and team members suggest that team teaching was usually introduced in response to the needs of the institution, and that principals primarily determined how teams were constituted. School cultures that fostered collaboration and collegiality facilitated the introduction of team teaching, and where the allocation of subject was based on teacher preference or expertise, there were benefits for both pupils and teachers. Factors at the level of the institution, the class, and the individual influenced the functioning of teams. The findings also indicate a critical need for ongoing assessment of the impact of team teaching arrangements on teaching and learning.