- This study investigated the impact of team-teaching in coordinated-studies programs
(CSPs) on community college faculty in three instructional development domains: personal,
social, and professional. Grounded in a social-constructivist theoretical framework, this
research examined whether development occurs best experientially, in collaborative
communities of knowledgeable peers. CSPs are team-taught interdisciplinary, problem-solving
enterprises involving two or more disciplines. Faculty control content and structure,
and build relationships in subjects while focusing on a central theme, societal issue, or
Reform initiatives addressing community college instructional quality and
institutional effectiveness have commanded national attention, contributing to an increase in
faculty development programs. In spite of heightened emphasis, there is little evidence of
program effectiveness. Moreover, successful models for improving teaching and learning
are still not fully understood.
Using phenomenologically based interviewing, the study determined how CSPs
impacted development of 10 instructors from two community colleges in Washington State.
Two interviews were conducted, one individually, the other with CSP teams. The index-coding system was an adaptation of a schema designed to assess improved performance in
the three instructional development domains, within the first, second, and third facet. Data
were analyzed using NUD*IST (Non-numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and
Theorizing), a qualitative software program.
Team-teaching in CSPs advanced instructional development and did so more
effectively than does traditional faculty development programs and self-directed
development, participants stated. Additionally, authority in decisions regarding curriculum
and instruction empowered faculty, improving morale and productivity. Another finding
was that planning and instructing a course of study with intellectual comradeship improved
pedagogical practices and produced intellectual insights.
Four important implications for community colleges surfaced in assessment of the
findings : (a) isolation - the condition found in solo teaching - is problematic, impacting
faculty support and feedback, (b) CSPs recapture the scholarship and comradeship
experienced in graduate school programs with discipline peers, (c) instructional
development is a social act improving more effectively through team-teaching with
knowledgeable peers, and (d) faculty experience revitalization and empowerment in CSPs,
alleviating redundancy and boredom from teaching the same courses. The CSP framework
allows for self-direction, spontaneity, and freedom from the barriers and restrictions
experienced in traditional courses.