Perceptions and practices of collaborative teaming: A qualitative study of three preschools

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Reading and Language Arts


Peter Mosenthal


Collaborative teaming, Preschools, Teams, Inclusion

Subject Categories

Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to examine the research questions: (a) Do teachers and therapists perceive individual goals or common goals? (b) In the practice of collaborative teaming to achieve their perceived goals, what are the structure, nature and degree of collaborative teaming? and (c) What is the relationship between teachers and therapists' perception of goals and their practice of collaborative teaming with their team members? Collaborative teaming, as described by Friend and Cook (1996), calls for the development of common goals through a process in which two or more individuals bring their own goals to a common ground. In this study, the perceived goals of team members and their practice of collaboration in four teams in three preschool settings were examined. A qualitative methodology, incorporating in-depth interviews, narrative accounts, and participant observations was used to discern the rich diversity of the participants' lived experiences, as well as their own understanding of their collaborative relationships with the team members. The constant comparative method of data analysis (Glaser, 1978) produced the themes in the study. The findings of the study were as follows. First, the team members had a common goal for the team, though they had different individual goals as team members. Second, in the practice of collaborative teaming, the structure of the team was influenced by team relationships and team meetings. The nature of teaming was influenced by team leadership, and the degree of teamwork was influenced by team communication and team support.


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