Prevocational education (PVE) in Jordan is a multi-disciplinary subject. It is known that it is difficult to prepare one teacher to teach all its fields. This study investigated the possibility to teach prevocational education by a team of teachers. Through questionnaires addressed to PVE teachers and teachers of other subjects, the study discussed the context that makes it necessary to adopt team teaching in PVE, identified the teachers who might participate in the teams, and their levels of ability to collaborate in teaching each of the PVE subjects. It also identified the difficulties and the required managerial and curricular changes. Among difficulties that would face team teaching in PVE were the increase in the teaching loads of the teachers who would participate in the team, and the interference in their timetables. However, teachers showed positive perceptions towards the usefulness of team teaching, and they expressed good affinity to participate in the teams.
Key words: Team teaching, Pre-vocational education.
Prevocational education (PVE) in Jordan is a practical form of provision that is taught at all grades of basic education. It is delivered as modularized training packages in agriculture, industry, home economics, economics, and health and safety. The provision of PVE in Jordan is intended to achieve a variety of general objectives, such as: inculcating positive attitudes towards manual work and workers, enabling students to acquire practical and applicable skills with economic and social benefits, providing the students with an opportunity to discover their affinities and aptitudes in order to facilitate their selection of prospective careers based on informed and realistic experience s. In addition, PVE aims at acquainting students with the practical application of knowledge obtained from other subjects, improving students' problem-solving and values-commitment abilities, enhancing their abilities to deal with modem technology, improving their consciousness of domestic life requirements, improving their "sense of responsibility" towards the environment, and enabling them to communicate through drawings and symbols (MoE, 1990).
It is obvious that PVE is intended to contribute to the overall role of the school in building the student's personality, and helping him/her to cope with the social requirements of human relations, inculcating ethics and values in addition to practical needs. This requires the teacher to teach the subject in an integrated way that does not confine learning to only practical skills and theoretical knowledge neglecting behavior, ethics and values (Al-saydeh, 2002).
Because of the wide spectrum of objectives, and teacher's tasks, the curriculum of PVE is distinguished from the academic curriculum in that it includes not only theoretical knowledge and basic subject skills, but also practical ability in real-life situations. Prevocational education does not take the form of a linear curriculum, and thus the interaction of all relative components will continuously occur (Doghlos, 2004).
To achieve the PVE objectives, the PVE teacher should have special abilities other than that of training on practical skills and transferring theoretical information and their sub-abilities. Al-saydeh (2002) identified these abilities as perceived by teachers, supervisors and curriculum developers. These abilities included undertaking vocational guidance and counseling, relating the subjects to students' life, using technology relating to the curriculum, utilizing and serving the local environment, in addition to undertaking maintenance to the PVE workshop and, sometimes, to school facilities, and doing other administrative tasks in the school.
This preview of the nature of PVE in Jordan, its objectives, and teachers' roles, reveals the difficulty of the PVE teachers' job. This difficulty results from the variety of the subject matter fields, the big variety of objectives intended to be achieved, and the low level of quality of teacher preparation and training, (Al-kiswani, 2005). This problem usually emerges in provisions of similar subjects that have a variety of the included subject matter fields, because initial teacher-training programs do not produce well-equipped teachers of the required skills. As an example, in England and Wales, Evans (1998) called teachers graduated of initial teacher education courses for Technology Education as "jack of all trades, master of none".
Having in mind the multi-dimensional difficulty in teaching PVE by one teacher and the difficulty to prepare or to train one single teacherto deliver such a subject, collaboration between teachers in the school could help to reduce this difficulty. In team teaching, a group of two or more teachers work together to plan, conduct and evaluate the learning activities for a group of students (Murata, 2002). Goetz (2000) identified two broad categories of team teaching: in category (A) two or more teachers are teaching the same students at the same time within the same classroom, this category includes:
* Traditional Team Teaching: In this case, the teachers actively share the instruction of content and skills to all students
* Collaborative Teaching: This academic experience describes a traditional team teaching situation in which the team teachers work together in designing the course and teach the material not by the usual monologue, but rather by exchanging and discussing ideas and theories in front of the learners. Not only do the team teachers work together, but the course itself uses group learning techniques for the learners, such as small-group work, student-led discussion and joint test-taking.
In the collaborative teaching, two teachers work together preparing for the same lesson but then deliver their material to the students in two-way discussion forum. Berensten (2006) mentioned a possible drawback of collaborative team teaching is that it has the potential to confuse students if two teachers present differing viewpoints on a particular subject.
Complimentary/Supportive Team Teaching: This situation occurs when one teacher is responsible for teaching the content to the students, while the other teacher takes charge of providing follow-up activities on related topics or on study skills.
Parallel Instruction: In this setting, the class is divided into two groups and each teacher is responsible for teaching the same material to her/his smaller group. This model is usually used in conjunction with other forms of team teaching, and is ideally suited to the situation when students are involved in projects or problem-solving activities, as the instructor can roam and give students individualized support.
Differentiated Split Class: This type of teaching involves dividing the class into smaller groups according to learning needs. Each educator provides the respective group with the instruction required to meet their learning needs.
Monitoring Teacher: This situation occurs when one teacher assumes the responsibility for instructing the entire class, while the other teacher circulates the room and monitors student understanding and behavior.
The first four styles are similar in that they each share or divide responsibilities for teaching the same material to the same class during the same period (Maroney, 1995, Schaible, 1995). However, in category (B) teachers do not necessarily teach the same group nor necessarily at the time. This category of team teaching can take many forms:
* Team members meet to share ideas and resources but function independently.
* Teams of teachers sharing a common resource center. In this form, teachers instruct classes independently, but share resource materials such as lesson plans, supplementary textbooks and exercise problems.
* A team in which members share a common group of students, share the planning for instruction but teach different sub-groups within the whole group.
* One individual plans the instructional activities for the entire team. This model does not take full advantage of the team concept as only one individual's ideas are incorporated. Sometimes, due to time or financial constraints, there may be no alternative to one person designing the entire program.
* The team members share planning, but each instructor teaches his/her own specialized skills area to the whole group of students.
Taking into account that PVE teachers are appointed in schools to teach its subjects, but they have difficulties due to different reasons, the suitable styles could be those of category (A) team teaching forms, particularly the first four forms in which two teachers share the responsibilities for teaching in the same class. These forms provide the PVE teachers with partners of relevant subject- matter knowledge, a factor that could help to bridge the gap in the PVE teachers' knowledge.
Also, the partners change dynamically, as curriculum-units change according to the specialty of the partner teacher. Among these forms, the most suitable and possible form is the traditional team teaching. This form provides another teacher in the classroom with the PVE teacher at the same time, a factor that can help provide better observation for students' practical performance and behavior (Sparker, 2003).
Team teaching has a …