Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Lyndon G. Furst

Third Advisor

Janice Y. Watson

Abstract

Problem. Much of current educational reform calls for teacher collaboration and teaming. These practices, however, are lacking in most middle schools. How do teams develop? Is there a prescribed pattern they must follow? What contributes to team growth? What are teachers' experiences as they collaborate? The answers to these questions are needed to facilitate effective teaming in schools.

Purpose. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine and describe the experiences of five middle school teams. I focus on the perceptions of the teams in terms of their development and relations with each other. The study describes how teachers' experiences in teaming impact attitudes, satisfaction, strengths, growing points, and stages of team development.

Method. Four core teaching teams at Lakeside Middle School were chosen because of their meaningful attempts to team. Using a case study approach, four core teams and one encore team were described using interviews, observation, a questionnaire, field notes, and artifacts. A rubric adapted from Development Dimensions International provided valuable descriptors of team processes from multiple perspectives. A cross case-analysis was used to analyze data from within and across the teams.

Results and Conclusions.The teams at Lakeside Middle school experience teaming through camaraderie, benefitting students, and exchange of ideas and skills within the team. A unique style of co-leadership among the team veterans was another way the teams experienced teaming. The principal's support and guidance, though at times lacking, was seen as being important to the teams. Recommendations include specific areas the principle could assist in team development. Satisfaction was perceived as a vital part of the team's experience. Areas of strength include assimilating new team members, having a goal of helping students, adequate time, and ownership. Areas of growth were subject integration, and communication among teams. Teaming is an important part of the experiences and growth of individuals and teams at Lakeside Middle school. Despite the variety of ways in which teams operate at Lakeside, there is no fixed pattern or formula. What is important, is that they have found a way that works for them, and they are using it effectively.

Subject Area

Teaching teams--United States--Case studies, Middle school teaching--United States--Case studies.

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