ERIC Number: ED414349
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Teaming in an Urban High School: Commitment, Collaboration, and Contradictions.
An ethnographic study of teacher teaming was conducted at an urban high school, exploring the effects the teaming process had on teachers' and students' experiences. Heritage High School was a relatively large urban school in the Midwest, employing over 100 teachers and serving over 1,200 students. The school has a graduation rate of only about 16%, and most of its students are overage for the grade in which they are enrolled. The 8 teachers observed in the case study wanted to create a cooperative and supportive environment in a system that would promote community among students and teachers and increase the graduation rate of a randomly selected group of 160 ninth graders who were new at the school and not more than 1 year over age for the grade level. The teachers intended to build a school-within-a-school to keep these students in school long enough to graduate. After teaming for the school year, teachers began to see promising results. Eighty-one percent of the teamed students returned for a second year, and about 61% passed their core courses, in contrast to only 34% of the comparison group of nonteamed students. Fewer teamed students than comparisons received discipline referrals. Teachers, administrators, and students believed that teaming, by building a sense of community, made the difference. These results are discussed in terms of social capital. In spite of these successes, the physical and psychological limitations, the utilitarian (and not very supportive) leadership of the principal, and some common sense beliefs about teaching and students constrained the teachers' ability to transform the school, contributing to the return to some preteaming classroom formats and techniques early in the school year. The efforts they sustained, however, did enhance the educational experience for both students and teachers. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 16 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 15-18, 1997).