Advantages and disadvantages of team teaching for student teachers retrieved from the literature.
Since collaboration within schools gains importance and is considered significant for teachers’ professional development in order to meet the new 21st-century educational demands, teacher education institutes show a growing interest in field experiences inspired by collaborative learning, such as team teaching. Team teaching is a teaching model in which (student) teachers work collaboratively in the preparation, teaching and evaluation of a course. In order to assess team teaching practices in teacher education by monitoring perceptions of collaborative team teaching experiences, an instrument is needed that offers insights to guide the learning process and support well-founded decision making. Therefore, an easy-to-use quantitative questionnaire to explore student teachers’ team teaching perceptions was developed and validated in four stages: an extensive literature review (1) resulting in a preliminary questionnaire containing advantages and disadvantages of team teaching (2). Next, a pilot study was conducted with 14 student teachers (3), followed by a further validation and reliability study based on exploratory factor analysis, peer debriefing, confirmatory factor analysis and internal consistency analysis with 181 participating student teachers (4). The final questionnaire comprises 29 Likert-items in four scales – collaboration, co-creation, coaching and complexity – and appears to be both valid and reliable.
- teacher education
- field experiences
- team teaching
- student teacher
- questionnaire development
- questionnaire validation
1.1 Collaborative teaching in teacher education
Within teacher education, field experiences are crucial in the training of future teachers  as they trigger learning . During field experiences, student teachers are traditionally placed individually with a mentor , i.e., the teacher in whose classroom the internship is conducted. They start by observing their mentor and, afterwards, get the responsibility to take over the class
However, theories of cooperative learning  and team learning  underline that professional cooperation can be highly beneficial. Indeed, collaboration between teachers is significant for their professional development  in order to meet the new educational demands of the 21st century [9, 10]. It triggers processes of making learning questions and goals more explicit, leads to increased motivation, and reinforces the capacity to search for answers. Moreover, it stimulates reflection on experiences as a basis to undertake action to improve professional behavior .
Furthermore, both schools and policy makers are seeking teaching models in which teachers are more committed to collaborating, sharing expertise and experiences, supporting each other, learning collaboratively, and enhancing their own competencies [12, 13, 14]. Those collaborative models can enhance learning by assisting teachers in responding better to learners’ needs through, for example, differentiated instruction, and potentially result in improved learning outcomes [15, 16].
Consequently, since collaboration within schools gains importance and is considered significant for teachers’ professional development, teacher education institutes show a growing interest in field experiences inspired by collaborative learning . By collaborating with peers, student teachers can reach higher levels of performance . Moreover, it may help student teachers to be better prepared for the transition to practice . By hosting student teachers in pairs, opportunities for team teaching arise.
Given the long history of traditional individual student teaching, implementing team teaching as a field experience model is challenging . Therefore, to assess team teaching performances in teacher education, a follow-up of the student teachers’ learning processes is important to guide their professional growth. Furthermore, student teachers could also benefit from a tool to discuss their own collaboration and to indicate joint work points themselves. To that end, measuring student teachers’ perceptions of collaborative team teaching experiences is relevant, as these might function as a filter  on the collaboration and impact of the team teaching practice. Hence, an easy-to-use valid and reliable questionnaire of student teachers’ team teaching perceptions is needed.
2. Collaborative learning through team teaching
Team teaching is a collaborative teaching model that refers to two or more professionals working together in some level of collaboration in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of a course [21, 22]. Co-teaching, collaborative teaching and cooperative teaching are sometimes used synonymously with team teaching.
Team teaching, however, refers to the collaboration between teachers in order to provide quality education to
As indicated in the definition, collaboration takes place between two or more professionals. Usually two teachers are involved (i.e., two (general) teachers, or a (general) teacher and a special education teacher), but other ways of collaboration are equally possible (e.g., between three or more professionals, with a student teacher, a mentor during field experiences, a teacher trainer, a child caretaker, a paramedic, or even a larger group of teachers with specific development goals ).
In this study, we focus on team teaching as a field experience model applied by student teachers
3. Team teaching models
In the literature several models of team teaching are described. Differences are related to the number of models or sub-models, and the labelling [21, 26]. In this study the typology of Baeten and Simons  is used as it is review-based . Their typology distinguishes between five team teaching models based on the level of collaboration between the team teaching partners: (1) the observation model, (2) the coaching model, (3) the assistant teaching model, (4) the equal status model – parallel teaching, sequential teaching and station teaching – and (5) the teaming model .
In the observation and coaching models, collaboration is limited as one teacher has full responsibility while the other observes [27, 28] or coaches [29, 30]. A higher level of collaboration becomes evident in the assistant teaching model, where one teacher has the main responsibility, but receives assistance from another teacher who provides support to the learners, uses media, etc. [27, 31]. Several teaching formats are possible in the equal status model: teachers split up the class (parallel teaching) , divide the learning contents (sequential teaching) [32, 33], or split up both the class and the learning contents, so that both teachers, with the same status and responsibilities, teach specific content or activities to a subgroup of learners (station teaching) [27, 34]. Finally, in the teaming model, both teachers fully collaborate during the preparation, the delivery and the evaluation of the lessons.
With regard to the application of team teaching models two important observations have to be made. First, it is important that student teachers adopt different roles within a specific model to underline the equivalence of both teaching partners involved, and to optimize the learning effect for both . This recommendation applies in particular to models where one teacher assumes more responsibility, as is the case in the observation, coaching, and assistant teacher models. Second, it is important to vary between models. Several authors point to a growth path in team teaching. More experienced teams often alternate models, even within a single lesson [22, 36].
4. Research aim
Previous empirical studies have emphasized the advantages of team teaching for collaborative learning and encouraged its implementation in teacher education, as it can help offset some of the issues that affect the more traditional model of individual student teaching (for instance lack of support, teaching in isolation), and because it maximizes resources in the classroom [4, 5].
Although the advantages of team teaching for student teachers have been confirmed in multiple studies, disadvantages (for instance conflicting personalities [15, 37], time-intensive planning [38, 39, 40]) have been recognized as well. Hence, a review-based overview of the relevant advantages and disadvantages of team teaching for student teachers will be presented in the
Moreover, team teaching practice is related to student teachers’ perceptions of team teaching . A number of studies show that teachers’ perceptions of collaboration have changed positively due to their experiences with team teaching . Otherwise stated, student teachers’ perceptions might function as a filter  on the team teaching practice and the accompanying actions. For instance, negative past experiences with collaboration can lead to student teachers being less open to team teaching . Consequently, offering situations where student teachers can have positive team teaching experiences may be a powerful way to foster collaborative learning.
Therefore, to assess team teaching practice in teacher education, stakeholders such as student teachers, teacher educators and mentors are in need of an easy-to-use instrument offering insights into student teachers’ perceptions of collaborative team teaching experiences, to guide the learning process and support well-founded decision making.
However, instruments to easily measure perceptions within team taught environments are scarce . Recently, a 16 Likert-items questionnaire for learners has been validated in Belgium and South Africa: the learners’ team teaching perceptions questionnaire (LTTPQ) . Contrary to the focus of the current study, the LTTPQ was based on specific characteristics of team taught learning environments
To the best of our knowledge, there is no valid and reliable quantitative instrument available to measure these aspects
Consequently, the aim of this study is to develop
5.1 Research stages
The STTPQ was developed and validated in four stages: an extensive literature review (1) resulting in a preliminary version of the questionnaire containing advantages and disadvantages of team teaching (2). Next, a pilot study was conducted with 14 student teachers in order to improve content validity (3), followed by a further validation and reliability study based on exploratory factor analysis, peer debriefing, confirmatory factor analysis and internal consistency analysis with 181 student teachers (4). Hence, both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied (i.e., mixed methods) in order to increase the reliability of the instrument .
5.2 Research contexts and respondents
This study was deliberately conducted in two different teacher education programs in Flanders, Belgium, so that the questionnaire would be sufficiently robust for use in different contexts. The first context consisted of a one-year academic teacher education program which prepares students who have already obtained their master’s degree to become secondary school teachers. The second context consisted of a three-year teacher education program, aimed at training students to obtain a bachelor’s degree required for primary or lower secondary school teachers.
For the pilot study a small sample of student teachers (
The validation and reliability study took place in the second context, including a larger sample of student teachers (
5.3 Stage 1: theoretical framework for the STTPQ
An extensive literature review was carried out to create an inventory of all relevant advantages and disadvantages of team teaching for student teachers . Five electronic databases, namely ERIC, FRANCIS, PsychInfo, Scopus and Web of Science were searched with the following terms:
By reading the abstracts of the retrieved records, relevant manuscripts were identified. In addition, the reference lists of those records were explored to search for other relevant manuscripts. The following inclusion criteria were applied: (1) The literature search started in the year 2000; (2) In order to ensure the quality of the review study, manuscripts had to be peer reviewed.
The literature review resulted in a corpus of 33 peer-reviewed manuscripts, which were read thoroughly to identify advantages and disadvantages of team teaching, and coded into themes in NVivo software. The coding process was data-driven, based on a review of the literature. The themes were further explored in the manuscripts and incorporated into a narrative review providing qualitative descriptions of student teachers’ team teaching advantages and disadvantages .
5.4 Stage 2: preliminary STTPQ
The preliminary STTPQ was developed based on the results of the literature review. The following criteria were used for the development of the items. First, the items had to represent the advantages and disadvantages retrieved from the reviewed literature. Second, the items had to be clearly formulated (as in not interpretative). Third, the items had to be unique (as in distinctive). Last, the items had to be universal (as in understandable in different contexts). Additionally, the use of the scaling technique was applied as it offers significant benefits over the use of a single question: it increases both the validity and reliability of the scale [47, 48]. The answering statements consist of a 5-point Likert scale ranging from
5.5 Stage 3: pilot study
A pilot study with 14 student teachers was conducted to increase the content validity of the preliminary STTPQ. Accordingly, all items were tested through cognitive interviews – a suitable technique to reveal the reasoning of respondents when answering the questions [49, 50] – by using the think-aloud method . All 14 student teachers were interviewed independently by two researchers to reduce the possibility of missing out on important information. On the basis of the 14 cognitive interviews, several adjustments were made at item level, allowing all items to be retained.
5.6 Stage 4: validity and reliability of the STTPQ
The validation and the reliability study of the STTPQ was conducted by means of a combination of exploratory factor analysis (EFA), peer debriefing, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and internal consistency analysis. Evidence to use the data for factor analysis was verified by the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test (> 0,80 = adequate)  and the Bartlett’s test of sphericity. The Lavaan package (version 0,6–7)  and the Psych package (version 2.0.12)  in Rstudio (http://www.rstudio.com/) were used to perform the statistical analyses.
First, an EFA was conducted in order to estimate the underlying factor structure of the data, i.e., without using a pre-defined hypothesized factor structure. To this end, data of the student teachers’ first measurement moment (MM1) were analyzed, using the maximum likelihood method with orthogonal rotation, in which factors – latent variables – and items – manifest variables – were retained and distinguished. Three criteria were used to determine the number of factors: (1) the Kaiser criterion (eigenvalues >1) , (2) the Cattell criterion (factors before the inflection point)  and (3) the content criterion (theoretically comprehensible). Additionally, items that loaded high (> 0,40) on one factor were included. By contrast, items that loaded high on one factor (> 0,40) and also fairly high (< 0,40) on another factor, with a difference of 0,15 or less between loadings, were excluded. Next, an item-total test correlation was used to recheck item validity measures in which each item should correlate – with a minimum of 0.20 as the cutoff value – with the total scale test score .
Furthermore, the reliability of the retained factor structure was verified in order to exclude items that did not meet the requirements for internal consistency. In the interpretation of the internal consistency, the following Cronbach’s alpha values were used: α < 0,60 = bad; 0,60 ≤ α < 0,80 = reasonable; α ≥ 0,80 = good .
Since a factor structure was retained without using a pre-defined hypothesized factor structure (i.e., EFA), a further theoretical fine-tuning during a peer debriefing session with four researchers was necessary to maintain content validity (i.e., sufficiently representative) and construct validity (i.e., meaningful scales). Therefore, all factors and related items were checked for internal consistency, content, scales and factors.
Subsequently, a CFA was conducted on the same data (MM1) to verify whether the data fitted the pre-defined hypothesized factor structure with the remaining items and scales. To evaluate the fit, various indices were studied: (1) the Comparative Fit Index (CFI), (2) the Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) and (3) the Root-Mean-Square-Error-of-Approximation (RMSEA). For the CFI and the TLI, a value equal to or greater than 0,90 is a good fit . Concerning the RMSEA, a cut-off value close to 0,06 is considered good .
Next, stepwise improvements, based on the modification indices, were added. Improvements were only made if the Akaike Information criterion (AIC) of the new model was significantly lower than before (cf. Pr(>Chisq) < 0,05).
Subsequently, a repeated EFA and CFA were conducted with similar data of the student teachers’ second measurement moment (MM2) in order to find evidence for the pre-defined hypothesized factor structure over time. Next, an item-total test correlation was used to recheck item validity measures at MM1 and MM2. Finally, the internal consistency for both measurement moments was analyzed in order to verify the reliability of the validated items in scales.
The results of the four different development and validation stages of the STTPQ questionnaire will be chronologically and separately presented: (1) theoretical framework of student teachers’ team teaching advantages and disadvantages, (2) preliminary version of the STTPQ, (3) results of the pilot study, and (4) results of the validation and reliability study of the questionnaire.
6.1 Theoretical framework for the STTPQ: student teachers’ team teaching advantages and disadvantages
Table 1 offers an overview of the advantages and disadvantages team teaching can have for student teachers, including the main references for each advantage and disadvantage that was retrieved from the literature.
|Increased support||Bronson and Dentith (2014); Bullough et al. (2002); Carless (2016); Dee (2012); Gardiner and Robinson (2010); Kamens (2007)|
|Increased dialog||Birrell and Bullough (2005); Gardiner and Robinson (2009); Nokes et al. (2008)|
|Professional growth||Bashan and Holsblat (2012); Nguyen and Baldauf (2010); Shin et al. (2007); Stairs et al. (2009)|
|Personal growth||Chanmugan and Gerlach (2013); Gardiner (2010); Kamens (2007)|
|Lack of compatibility||Bashan and Holsblat (2012); Stairs et al. (2009); Tobin et al. (2001)|
|Comparison between peers||Goodnough et al. (2009); Stairs et al. (2009)|
|Difficulty of providing constructive feedback||Parson and Stephenson (2005); Sorensen (2004)|
|Increased workload||Gardiner and Robinson (2011); Nokes et al. (2008); Vacilotto and Cummings (2007)|
The literature showed that team teaching offers several advantages to student teachers. These advantages are fourfold: (1) increased support, (2) increased dialog about learning and teaching, (3) professional growth, and (4) personal growth.
Team teaching provides
Despite these advantages, four disadvantages of team teaching for student teachers are recognized as well: (1) lack of compatibility of peers, (2) comparison between peers (3) difficulty of providing constructive feedback and (4) increased workload.
6.2 Preliminary STTPQ
The preliminary version of the STTPQ includes 47 Likert-items organized in five scales to measure student teachers’ team teaching perceptions. These five scales are based on the advantages and disadvantages of team teaching described in the theoretical framework: (1)
Table 2 shows the 47 items of the preliminary questionnaire with the corresponding scales. Each scale consists of at least five items, which allows removal of problematic items during the validation and reliability study.
|1||I could rely on my team teaching partner for questions and concerns.||Support|
|2||My team teaching partner gave me professional support (e.g. ideas, useful information).||Support|
|3||I felt as if there was competition between my team teaching partner and I.||Complexity|
|4||I was concerned that my team teaching partner would teach better than me.||Complexity|
|5||Teaching the lessons alongside my team teaching partner made me feel at ease.||Support|
|6||I found reflecting on our lessons together insightful.||Growth|
|7||By preparing our lessons together, we dared to experiment.||Growth|
|8||I had enough possibilities to share my teaching experiences with my team teaching partner.||Dialog|
|9||I was tense because of the presence of my team teaching partner.||Support|
|10||The differences between my team teaching partner and I complicated our collaboration.||Complexity|
|11||The team teaching activities required hard work.||Workload|
|12||I learnt a lot by preparing the lessons with my team teaching partner.||Growth|
|13||My team teaching partner and I complemented each other very well.||Support|
|14||The collaboration with my team teaching partner was efficient.||Support|
|15||I felt more motivated during the team teaching activities.||Growth|
|16||The presence of my team teaching partner made me feel more confident in front of the class.||Growth|
|17||During the team teaching activities I had to memorize many things at once.||Workload|
|18||I had enough possibilities to exchange ideas with my team teaching partner.||Dialog|
|19||Without the presence of a team teaching partner, I feel more comfortable.||Support|
|20||During the team taught lessons I learnt things I would not have learnt during individual lessons.||Growth|
|21||I have learnt to give (better) constructive feedback to my team teaching partner.||Growth|
|22||During the team teaching activities I had to make difficult decisions.||Workload|
|23||The workload for a team taught lesson was high.||Workload|
|24||I regularly exchanged information with my team teaching partner.||Dialog|
|25||I got along very well with my team teaching partner.||Support|
|26||My team teaching partner was a source of information.||Support|
|27||It took a lot of time to prepare the lessons together.||Workload|
|28||I prefer to prepare my lessons alone instead of doing this together.||Workload|
|29||Thanks to the collaboration with my team teaching partner, I reflected better on what does and what does not work.||Growth|
|30||The collaboration with my team teaching partner made me more aware of the importance of good fellowship.||Growth|
|31||The competition between my team teaching partner and I complicated our collaboration.||Complexity|
|32||My team teaching partner gave me emotional support (e.g. encouragements, a listening ear).||Support|
|33||The presence of my team teaching partner made me feel more at ease.||Support|
|34||By preparing our lessons together, we dared to try out new things.||Growth|
|35||I could share my teaching experiences with my team teaching partner.||Dialog|
|36||I have had more work than if I would have given exclusively individual lessons.||Workload|
|37||I have grown on a personal level (e.g., self-confidence, social skills).||Growth|
|38||I discussed my ideas and experiences with my team teaching partner.||Dialog|
|39||I felt more secure by preparing the lessons together.||Support|
|40||By comparing myself with my team teaching partner I discovered my own points of improvement.||Growth|
|41||The team taught lessons required a high level of concentration and accuracy.||Workload|
|42||I would have felt less anxious if I only had to give individual lessons.||Support|
|43||My team teaching partner gave me useful feedback on my lessons.||Support|
|44||I had difficulties giving my opinion to my team teaching partner.||Complexity|
|45||The comparison between my team teaching partner and I (e.g. by pupils, by the mentor) bothered me.||Complexity|
|46||During the team teaching activities, I felt competent to teach.||Growth|
|47||The team teaching activities convinced me even more of the fact that I want to become a teacher.||Growth|
6.3 Pilot study
The pilot study resulted in adjustments at item level. Seven items were reformulated. First, Item 6
6.4 Validation and reliability of the STTPQ
Before conducting the analyses, all data were checked for missing data: 23,2% of the data were missing for MM1 and 12,5% for MM2. All missing data were excluded: the missing data of MM1 were extracted from the dataset of MM1 and analog for MM2. Moreover, evidence to use the data for factor analysis was confirmed by the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test (MM1 = 0,89; MM2 = 0,88) and the Bartlett’s test of sphericity (MM1: χ2 = 4113,19,
6.4.1 Exploratory factor analysis
The EFA revealed that a 4-factor structure is statistically valid for the questionnaire (Table 3). First, the scree plot showed four factors before the inflection point. Second, three factors had eigenvalues above 1 and one factor had an eigenvalue very close to 1 (i.e., 0,999). Third, the factors were theoretically comprehensible in terms of content. The four factors together explained 47% of the total variance.
|Rotated factor load values|
|Item no||Factor 1||Factor 2||Factor 3||Factor 4||Corrected item-total correlation||Cronbach’s alpha if the item is deleted|
At item level, there was a downgrade from 47 items to 34 items: eight items loaded insufficiently (< 0,40) and five items loaded highly on more than one factor. Although Item 45 had a factor load value of 0,38 just below the limit of 0,40, the item was retained as it correlated well with the overall scale (0,48). Additionally, there was a further downgrade to 33 items as shown in Table 3. Item 27 was excluded to improve the internal consistency of the third factor (α = 0,66 - > α = 0,71).
Consequently, the first factor includes 17 items (α = 0,95) of the scales
6.4.2 Peer debriefing
The retained 4-factor structure was subjected to a theoretical fine-tuning during a peer debriefing session, based on the literature of collaborative learning and the theoretical framework for the questionnaire. Factor 1 included 17 items of the theoretical assumed scales support, growth, complexity and dialog. This large scale comprised 6 items in which specifically the aspect of support by means of positive feelings of
Finally, as shown in Table 4 the renewed four factors were labeled based on the content of the items and their underlying construct: (1) the
|Scale||No of items||Items||Cronbach’s alpha|
|Collaboration||6||1, 10, 13, 14, 25, 32||0,92|
|Co-creation||11||2, 6, 8, 12, 24, 26, 29, 34, 40, 43, 46||0,90|
|Coaching||8||5, 9, 15, 16, 19, 33, 39, 42||0,88|
|Complexity||8||3, 4, 11, 17, 22, 23, 44, 45||0,70|
6.4.3 Confirmatory factor analysis
In order to check if the data of the first measurement moment (MM1) fitted the pre-defined 4C-factor structure –
|Model 1||0,856||0,844||0,073||10766||Excluding Item 44|
|Model 2||0,874||0,864||0,069||10336||Fit 1 - Fit2: ||Item 3 ~ ~ Item 4|
|Model 3||0,883||0,873||0,067||10315||Fit 2 - Fit3: ||Item 15 ~ ~ Item 16|
|Model 4||0,891||0,881||0,065||10297||Fit 3 - Fit4: ||Item 5 ~ ~ Item 16|
|Model 5||0,899||0,890||0,062||10278||Fit 4 - Fit5: ||Item 6 ~ ~ Item 29|
|Model 6||0,905||0,896||0,060||10265||Fit 5 - Fit6: ||Excluding Item 10|
|Model 7||0,905||0,896||0,061||9964||Fit 6 - Fit7: ||Item 46 ~ ~ Item 11|
|Model 8||0,911||0,902||0,059||9952||Fit 7 - Fit8: ||Excluding Item 9|
|Model 9||0,919||0,911||0,057||9631||Fit 8 - Fit9: p < 0,01|
6.4.4 Repeated exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis
As part of a rigorous validity check over time, a repeated EFA and CFA were conducted , albeit with data from the second measurement moment (MM2). The EFA of MM2 confirmed the 4-factor structure of MM1: the scree plot showed four factors before the inflection point and four factors had eigenvalues above 1, which explained 49% of the total variance. Next, the CFA revealed that the 4C-factor structure –
|Model 9||0,814||0,795||0,090||10522||Item 1 ~ ~ Item 2|
|Model 10||0,844||0,827||0,083||10451||Fit 1 - Fit2: ||Item 12 ~ ~ Item 39|
|Model 11||0,858||0,843||0,079||10418||Fit 2 - Fit3: ||Item 32 ~ ~ Item 33|
|Model 12||0,869||0,854||0,076||10393||Fit 3 - Fit4: ||Excluding Item 40|
|Model 13||0,882||0,868||0,074||10003||Fit 4 - Fit5: ||Item 6 ~ ~ Item 43|
|Model 14||0,888||0,875||0,072||9989||Fit 5 - Fit6: ||Item 2 ~ ~ Item 26|
|Model 15||0,895||0,882||0,070||9974||Fit 6 - Fit7: ||Item 2 ~ ~ Item 34|
|Model 16||0,901||0,888||0,068||9961||Fit 7 - Fit8: ||Item 3 ~ ~ Item 45|
|Model 17||0,906||0,894||0,066||9949||Fit 8 - Fit9: p < 0,01||Item 4 ~ ~ Item 45|
|Model 18||0,915||0,904||0,063||9928||Fit 9 - Fit10: p < 0,01|
Moreover, evidence of item validity was attained as all items for both MM1 and MM2 correlated well (> 0,20) with the total scale test score (Table 7). Table 7 also indicates that the reliability of all four scales of Model 18 showed reasonable to good overall internal consistency for MM1:
α = 0,90
α = 0,92
α = 0,90
α = 0,89
α = 0,87
α = 0,88
α = 0,69
α = 0,68
6.5 Valid and reliable 4C-student teachers’ team teaching perceptions questionnaire
The valid and reliable 4C-questionnaire is a self-report instrument that includes 29 Likert-items organized in four scales:
|1||1||I could rely on my team teaching partner for questions and concerns.||Collaboration|
|2||2||My team teaching partner gave me professional support (e.g. ideas, useful information).||Co-creation|
|3||3||I felt as if there was competition between my team teaching partner and I.||Complexity|
|4||4||I was concerned that my team teaching partner would teach better than me.||Complexity|
|5||5||Teaching the lessons alongside my team teaching partner made me feel at ease.||Coaching|
|6||6||By reflecting on the lessons with my team teaching partner, I gained more insight in my own qualities as a teacher.||Co-creation|
|8||7||I had enough possibilities to share my teaching experiences with my team teaching partner.||Co-creation|
|11||8||The team teaching activities required hard work.||Complexity|
|12||9||I learnt a lot by preparing the lessons with my team teaching partner.||Co-creation|
|13||10||My team teaching partner and I complemented each other very well.||Collaboration|
|14||11||The collaboration with my team teaching partner was efficient.||Collaboration|
|15||12||I felt more motivated during the team teaching activities.||Coaching|
|16||13||I felt more confident thanks to the presence of my team teaching partner during the lessons.||Coaching|
|17||14||During the team teaching activities I had to memorize many things at once.||Complexity|
|19||15||Without the presence of a team teaching partner, I feel more comfortable.||Coaching|
|22||16||During the team teaching activities I had to make difficult decisions.||Complexity|
|23||17||The workload for a team taught lesson was high.||Complexity|
|24||18||I regularly exchanged information with my team teaching partner.||Co-creation|
|25||19||I got along very well with my team teaching partner.||Collaboration|
|26||20||My team teaching partner was a source of information.||Co-creation|
|29||21||Thanks to the collaboration with my team teaching partner, I reflected better on what does and what does not work.||Co-creation|
|32||22||My team teaching partner gave me emotional support (e.g. encouragements, a listening ear).||Collaboration|
|33||23||The presence of my team teaching partner made me feel more at ease.||Coaching|
|34||24||By preparing our lessons together, we dared to try out new things.||Co-creation|
|39||25||I felt more secure by preparing the lessons together.||Coaching|
|42||26||I would have felt less anxious if I only had to give individual lessons.||Coaching|
|43||27||My team teaching partner gave me useful feedback on my lessons.||Co-creation|
|45||28||The comparison between my team teaching partner and I (e.g. by pupils, by the mentor) bothered me.||Complexity|
|46||29||During the team teaching activities I felt competent to teach.||Co-creation|
7. Conclusion and discussion
Team teaching may be a powerful way to foster collaborative learning between student teachers. To support the implementation of team teaching and to assess team teaching practices in teacher education, stakeholders such as student teachers, teacher educators and mentors are in need of an instrument that offers insights into student teachers’ perceptions of collaborative team teaching experiences, in order to guide the learning process and support well-founded decision making.
Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop
Both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied in the development and validation of the STTPQ in four stages. During the first stage, a theoretical framework was developed through an extensive literature review of student teachers’ team teaching advantages and disadvantages. The results showed that the advantages are fourfold: (1) emotional and professional support, (2) increased dialog about learning and teaching, (3) professional growth and (4) personal growth. Despite these advantages, four disadvantages are recognized as well: (1) lack of compatibility of peers, (2) comparison between peers, (3) difficulty of providing constructive feedback, and (4) increased workload.
In the final stage, the validation and the reliability study of the questionnaire were conducted by means of a combination of exploratory factor analysis, peer debriefing, confirmatory factor analysis, and internal consistency analysis. Factor analysis proved that the original five scales based on our literature study on the advantages and disadvantages of team teaching: (1) support, (2) dialog, (3) growth, (4) complexity and (5) workload could not be retained. Instead, a 4-factor structure with scales (1)
In sum, the final questionnaire comprises 29 Likert-items in four scales –
Notwithstanding this result, there are some limitations. First, the five hypothesized scales based on the literature review did not match the 4-factor structure of the first and repeated exploratory factor analyses. In addition, a number of interesting items and underlying scales that did not meet the requirements for validity and reliability had to be excluded.
Subsequently, in order to measure student teachers’ team teaching perceptions regardless of their team teaching experience, it is important to use the questionnaire not only for student teachers with limited team teaching experience (as is the case in this study), but also for student teachers with more extensive team teaching experience. In order to further verify the validity and reliability of the STTPQ, the questionnaire should be administered in these contexts of teacher education as well.
The focus of this research was specifically on perceptions of team teaching by student teachers. An interesting avenue for further research could be to pilot this questionnaire in different types of educational settings, where team teaching is applied by in-service teachers and/or other educational professionals. Therefore, future research is encouraged to apply and validate the STTPQ in other educational settings.