Team Teaching and Learning in Adult Education

Team Teaching and Learning in Adult Education

Team Teaching and Learning in Adult Education

Team Teaching and Learning in Adult Education


This issue explores the many ways that team teaching enhances both teaching and learning and how it can be successfully incorporated into a variety of adult education contexts. The contributors show how team teaching can be used to increase both organizational and individual learning in a range of settings outside of a traditional classroom, for example, a recently deregulated public utility, a national literacy organization, and community-based settings such as Chicago's south side. They discuss how team teaching can be used in colleges and universities, describing specific strategies for administrators and teachers who want to integrate it into their curricula and classrooms. In addition, the coeditors share what they learned in teaming up to edit this issue, outlining a model for team teaching that can be applied by educators in all settings. This is the 87th issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education.



When I agreed to edit this volume on team teaching for New Directions in Adult and Continuing Education (NDACE), I was excited about sharing my knowledge through writing. I knew I had a good understanding of the topic based on my research and practice. Because I had recently contributed a chapter to another issue of NDACE, I also felt that I knew the ropes. Yet my delight was tempered by a concern that nagged at me: How would I handle the workload alone? The obvious solution was mirrored in the very subject of the sourcebook. What I needed was a team—not just a team of contributing authors, but one particular teammate: a coeditor.

This got me thinking about my criteria for a partner. Recalling my experiences with team teaching in the classroom and my research on faculty development partnerships between peer colleagues, I knew that mutual trust and feeling comfortable together were essential. I wanted someone who had expertise and contacts in scholarly writing and editing, but it had to be someone who would view me as a peer, not a protege. None of my most trusted teaching colleagues was especially interested or experienced in scholarly writing, and although my mentor would make a wonderful coeditor, we would not be peer colleagues. On one hand, it would be ideal to partner with someone whom I already knew and respected, but I had also learned that productive partnerships can blossom between strangers.

In November 1998, I met with Elizabeth (Libby) Tisdell over breakfast in Phoenix, Arizona. During this informal meeting, Libby and I identified a shared commitment to the project, a feeling of personal comfort with one another, and a sense of complementarity, all of which have fueled our longdistance working relationship for the past year and a half. I had come to our . . .

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