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Creative Teaching Development in Teacher Team of Elementary School
Jeou-Shyan Horng, PhD.
teacher team work
spontaneous teacher team
administrative teacher team
This research aims to understand the development of creative teaching in teacher team of elementary school, to examine the development process and operational patterns of the spontaneous teacher team and teams formed by administrative arrangements in developing creative teaching, to probe into the differences between these two types of team and to analyze the relevant conditions that affect the development of creative teaching for teacher team. Action research methodology was employed to gain an insight into the theory and practice of the development of creative teaching in teacher team of elementary school and to form the operational patterns. Two types of teams are identified: one is the spontaneous teams formed by teachers voluntarily in order to develop comprehensive activities for creative teaching curriculum and another is the teacher teams formed by administrative arrangements in order to develop cross-disciplinary creative teaching curriculum. Based on the purpose of this research, the following major findings as follows: 1. Development& impacts of creative teaching development from spontaneous teacher teams. （1）Form self-oriented teacher teams. （2）The collective efforts to construct a team knowledge system, purpose system and psychological support system. （3）The development process of the teacher teams comes in the stages of formation, establishment, collisions and effects. Throughout the course of development, the frictions during the initial formation and the conflicts toward the end of the process pose great challenges. Among them, the biggest challenges are “time” and the “incentives system” of the teacher teams. （4）The best model for the Flying Geese Teams is that the sum is bigger than the aggregation of the individuals. （5）It creates a campus culture where experience sharing is appreciated. Meanwhile, it generates positive impacts to the school by instilling creativity. However, negative impacts to the subculture groups are likely at the initial stage. 2. Development& impacts of creative teaching development from teacher teams organized by administrative arrangements (1) Design team. (2) The attitude of the team members decides the effectiveness of the team. The different types of member attitudes are “independent leaders”, “power promoters”, “active participators”, “passive attempters,” “indifferent onlookers” and “outsiders”. In the end, the active participators finished the creative curriculum and were recognized for their achievements. (3) The strategy to integrate human resources and to develop creative curriculum and campus affairs for the whole school: a. To organize a curriculum development committee to map out the blueprint of curriculum for various subjects, to assist the team in designing the subjects and setting the directions of the creative teaching course and to provide systematic support to the team purpose. b. To set up the team goals with administrative arrangements, to allow each team to develop their own curriculum and to provide the autonomy with members to exercise discretions and make decisions. c. To organize the opportunities and schedules for professional developments, to provide systematic support to the teachers’ knowledge and to enhance the competences in creative teaching. d. To consolidate the timeslots for collective teaching reviews to allow the members to fully discuss and reflect the issues, in order to avoid an inefficient use of timeslots scattered around. e. To assist teachers to participate in seminars and trainings and to develop course development channels and emotional support. f. To arrange the study of information technology and digital media applications, to assist the teachers to record the process and retrieve data where necessary, and to help them ponder on the meanings of this curriculum. g. To provide relevant resources and human resources from the school, community and society to support teaching. h. To implement flexible class schedule and collaborate teaching support in order to facilitate the teaching course. (4) During the process of formation, establishment, development and effectiveness, conflicts always remain. The cooperation mechanism of the conflict-based teams includes the conflicts from the teachers toward the administrative leaders and the conflicts between team members. (5) Development of a collaborative, co-dependent campus culture 3. In terms of the above mention differences for the two types of teams, they also differ in participation motivations. It is mainly internal motivations for the spontaneous teams and the external motivations for the administratively arranged teams. In terms of member selections, the former members participate on a willing basis whereas the latter members are forced into the team. In terms of workshop functions, the former members offer direct support whereas the latter members offer indirect support. In terms of the leadership style, the former exhibit a flexible, flat structure whereas the latter is a hierarchical semi-democratic leadership. In terms of team effectiveness, the former is an integrated effort while the latter is a mismatched teamwork. 4. Conditions that impact the teacher teams to develop creative teaching：Campus environments and networks, member characteristics, team leadership, knowledge system, purpose system, psychological support system, team output. The conditions of the team development for the seven teachers’ teams impact and assist each other during the process. Meanwhile, this process triggers the team motivations and in turn, creates the team actions and completes the team missions. Based on the research findings, this paper proposes suggestions for onsite teachers, city and county education authorities, the school administrations, teachers’ training units and academic research organizations. Reflections upon the research findings and the suggestions for follow-up research work are made.
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