Examining how building-based math teachers and second-grade classroom teachers collaborate when they team teach

Rebecca Anne Hutto, University of Pennsylvania


The value of collaboration has been acknowledged by district administrators, teachers and educational researchers as beneficial to teacher learning as teachers strive to meet the challenge of creating classroom learning environments that foster inquiry, problem-based learning, and teamwork (Little 1993, Borasi and Fonzi 2002, Peter-Koop, Santos-Wagner, Breen and Begg 2003, Carr, Herman, and Harris 2005). Using the lenses of situated cognition (Lave 1988, Lave and Wenger 1991) and cognitive apprenticeship (Brown, Collins, and Duguid 1989), this study examines the learning of eight teachers in four schools in one district who participated in a collaborative teaching relationship that has existed for three years. The study explores how teachers collaborate to enhance mathematics instruction in their second grade classrooms. The study also identifies changes in teaching practices that result from the collaboration and notes factors that enhance and constrain involvement in the collaborative teaching relationship. Findings are presented as comparative case studies of consulting. The data suggest that through a mix of consulting, coaching and teaming practices the teachers have achieved changes in their practice, moving away from the textbook as sole guide to instruction to a view of the textbook as one of many tools to facilitate exploration of the "big ideas" of second grade mathematics. The findings also showed that without strong district reiteration of the vision and purpose of the collaborative teaching initiative and accompanying structures to support consistency of implementation, collaborative teaching was enacted in different ways across the four district elementary schools and teacher learning was more robust in some schools than in others.

Subject Area

Mathematics education|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Hutto, Rebecca Anne, "Examining how building-based math teachers and second-grade classroom teachers collaborate when they team teach" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3210002.