Type to search

Author: Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet

This article first appeared in the March 2004 issue of The Teaching Professor.

In his excellent book on team teaching (Interdisciplinary Courses and Team Teaching), James Davis posits two extremes on the continuum of team teaching. One pole consists of “courses planned by a group of faculty and then carried out in serial segments by the individual members of the group” (p. 7). At the opposite pole are “courses planned and delivered by a group. . . . They take primary responsibility for individual class sessions, but sometimes [italics ours] two or more faculty are involved in planning and delivering the instruction of a particular class” (p. 7). The two of us take the latter extreme even further, going into what we call Total Team Teaching (TTT), and we find the results highly effective.

TTT means that each of us contributes equally to Davis’ four criteria of collaboration: planning, content integration, teaching, and testing and evaluation. In the 30-plus classes we’ve team taught, we’ve changed a thing or two, but one factor remains constant: we both appear in every class session and share equally in preparation, presentation, and assessment. We create the thrust of the class, develop the course objectives, select the texts, construct the syllabus and procedures, and plan each class session together. In our most recent TTT class (a graduate seminar in creative writing pedagogy), we even spent several months together doing research and establishing a theoretical approach before writing up a class proposal for the department’s graduate coordinator.

Based on our 32 years of experience, we’d like to offer you some advice.

Hal Blythe, PhD, and Charlie Sweet, PhD, are resident authors at Eastern Kentucky University.