Collaborative interdisciplinary team teaching in Japan: a study of practitioner and student perspectives
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 10:00 authored by Andrew Peter Gladman
The research of this thesis investigates team teaching within a Japanese tertiary context. Miyazaki International College (MIC), Japan, is a liberal arts college using English as its medium of instruction. Within nearly all of its lower-division classes, the college employs an unusual team teaching initiative, called Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team Teaching (CITT). In each CITT class, a specialist in TESOL and a specialist in the academic subject of the class integrate their specialities to team-teach English language and the academic subject in parallel. The team teachers adopt a highly collaborative approach, teaching each course jointly as equal partners, being present in the classroom at all lesson times and sharing responsibility for all aspects of their shared course. I am a TESOL specialist at MIC, and although there has been some CITT research conducted at MIC in the past, I am the only person researching CITT at the present time. -- This series of research studies was designed primarily as an exploratory study of CITT, investigating how classroom participants define what CITT, is identifying the important elements of CITT, and describing what they believe constitutes effective or ineffective CITT. The series comprises three small-scale but connected studies: an exploratory focus group study of team teachers, a follow-up questionnaire-based study of team teachers, and an exploratory questionnaire-based study of students from the team-taught classroom. A qualitative data-driven approach was employed, allowing CITT participants to define and describe the processes of CITT on their own terms, and using the data to guide the direction of the research. The data were also used to develop a conceptual model of effective CITT for application by practising team teachers. -- In this thesis, the three studies of the research series are presented in their institutional context. The studies are also situated in the context of previous research findings regarding CITT and similar team teaching initiatives in other educational institutions around the world. The findings from this research series are used to identify possible implications for collaborative practice and future research opportunitites.