Coláiste Muire is one of 18 schools nationwide which is involved in the delivery of a pilot project on behalf of the Department of Education and Science on team teaching. Team teaching involves a second teacher being present in the class to assist with the delivery of the lesson through using a range of strategies and teaching methodologies.
During the academic year 2017-2018 all first and second year maths classes were timetabled for one period of team teaching per week. LCA classes also had a team teacher in Office Administration and Customer Care (OACC), Vocational Preparation and Guidance (VPG), Maths and ICT. Teachers involved in the delivery of team teaching attended inservice training provided by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST).
The development of effective team teaching has been identified by the School Self Evaluation (SSE) Team as one of the focus areas for the current three year phase of SSE.
All students and teachers who participated in the pilot programme were surveyed at the end of the year in relation to their experiences of team teaching.
A general summary of the findings were as follows:
- 61% of students indicated that they were good at maths and find maths easy. (This displays a positive disposition towards the subject).
- 77% of students found it beneficial to have an extra teacher in their maths class
- 65% of students indicated that they were more comfortable asking questions in a class with an extra teacher.
- 52% of students indicated that having an extra teacher in class had a positive impact on their confidence in maths.
From the student’s points of view the main advantages were:
- Students were able to ask questions without disturbing the whole class,
- There was an extra teacher available in class to help to help with parts they did not fully understand
- Students were not waiting as long for assistance from a teacher.
- Students were more inclined to ask questions when there was an extra teacher available in the class.
The majority of students surveyed (66%) were in favour of having an extra teacher in their maths class next year.
It is planned to continue the team teaching project with all junior cycle maths classes next year and also expand the project into the first year English programme.