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If teams are so good.. : science teachers' conceptions of teams and teamwork

By Gregory William Smith

Abstract

The focus of this study is the phenomenon of teams and teamwork. Currently the Professional Standards of Queensland’s teachers state that teams are critical to teachers’ work. This study uses a phenomenographic approach to investigate science teachers’ conceptions of teams and teamwork in the science departments of fifteen Queensland State secondary schools.\ud The research identifies eight conceptions of teams and teamwork. The research findings suggest that the team represents a collective of science teachers bounded by the Science Department and their current timetabled subject. Collaboration was found in the study to be an activity that occurred between teachers in the same social space. The research recognises a new category of relationship between teachers, designated as ‘ask-and-receive’.\ud The research identifies a lack of teamwork within the science department and the school. There appears to be no teaming with other subject departments. The research findings highlight the non-supportive team and teamwork policies, procedures and structures in the schools and identify the lack of recognition of the specialised skills of science teachers. \ud The implications for the schools and science teachers are considerable, as the current Professional Standards of Education Queensland and the Queensland College of Teachers provide benchmarks of knowledge and practice of teams and teamwork for teachers. The research suggests that the professional standards relating to teams and teamwork cannot be achieved in the present school environment

Topics: science teachers, teams, teamwork, collaboration, professional standards, phenomenography, secondary schools, science departments, school organisation
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:31734

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