University of Oulu

Yhteistyön ristiriitaiset puhetavat : diskurssianalyyttinen näkökulma luokanopettajien tulkintoihin tiimityöstä

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Author: Willman, Arto1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
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Language: Finnish
Published: 2001
Publish Date: 2001-05-28
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Esitetään Oulun yliopiston kasvatustieteiden tiedekunnan suostumuksella julkisesti tarkastettavaksi Linnanmaan Kajaaninsalissa (L 6) 20. kesäkuuta 2001 klo 12.00.
Reviewer: Professor Jouko Kari
Docent Jouni Välijärvi


The research study discussed in this doctoral dissertation illuminates the interpretative repertoires used by teachers when describing collaborative team work. The focus of the study has been guided by an interest to investigate the ways in which teachers interpret and conceptualise their team work experiences. The topicality of the study is related to current conflicts found between the importance of professional collaboration in todays schools and the challenges of productive teacher collaboration. The theoretical framework of this study approaches teacher team work from three dimensions, namely from the viewpoint of current changes in educational policy, the working culture of teachers, and from the viewpoint of productive teacher collaboration. In this research study, teacher team work is defined as a process during which teachers work together as a team in order to plan, carry out and reflect on their classroom practise.

The methodological basis of this research study is based on the social constructionist theory of discourse. This approach has been applied in order to identify what kind of discursive repertoires teachers use when describing collaboration in their team. Repertoires are seen as culturally and socially constructed discourses that specify the possibilities of relevant interpretation in a particular social organisation. The interpretation of repertoires involves the investigation of functions, contexts and dynamics of teachers verbal language. The main goal of the analysis is to clarify and model the complexities of teacher collaboration.

Five interpretative repertoires defining teacher team work were identified in the empirical data of this study. These are defined as collegial, practical, group, organisational and hurry repertoires. These repertoires describe the main contents of teachers collaboration of which construction appears to be based on the dynamics between and within them. A joint feature across the repertoires seems to be in an orientation towards an interpretative conflict between restricting and progressive reasons. The different repertoires and their dynamics form an interpretative model of teacher team work through which the teachers interpretations on team work can be evaluated.

The challenges of teacher collaboration appear to arise from a disintegration of teacher goals and incentives during team work. Critical incidents of teacher team work seem to be found in collaborative problem solving situations during which cultural assumptions and the meaning of reform efforts are often evaluated. Discrepancies between the teachers interpretative repertoires lead easily to narrow and restricted solutions that can be in conflict with the reform efforts linked to teacher team work. Furthermore, the discrepancies in repertoires appear to strengthen group dynamics that orient towards restricted teacher collaboration. The conflicts in repertoires appear to increase the need to emphasise alikeness, unity and stability among teachers, despite the fact that the potential of team work is usually found in distributed expertise, the construction of global views and in creative learning.

This research study suggests that teacher team work is best supported by activating teachers to create joint conditions and possibilities for collaboration. On the basis of this study, positive results in teacher team work are related to teachers active role in solving emerging conflicts and to the adjustment of strong oppositions in teachers targets for collaboration. The lack of community structures in teachers profession and the tendency towards contradiction appear to support dynamics that effectively restrict teacher collaboration. The theoretical model build in this research study on teachers interpretative repertoires of team work serves a good starting point to develop and support teacher collaboration efforts in future studies.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. E, Scientiae rerum socialium
ISSN-E: 1796-2242
ISBN: 951-42-6405-3
ISBN Print: 951-42-6404-5
Issue: 47
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2001. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.