JET Logo

  The Journal of Effective Teaching
an online journal devoted to teaching excellence


Journal of Effective Teaching, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2011  

Little, A., & Hoel, A. (2011). Interdisciplinary Team Teaching: An Effective Method to Transform Student Attitudes. The Journal of Effective Teaching, 11(1), 36-44. [Full Text]


In order to maximize student development in an interdisciplinary context, we implemented and evaluated a business-biology team teaching approach. The class project involved teams of environmental science and business students analyzing an industry stakeholder interested in participating in the development of a community composting network. We compared the results of this team-taught section with a more traditionally-taught business section with a sustainability emphasis, with the objectives of identifying student learning gains and reflecting, as faculty, upon the experience. In the affective domain, there was initial discomfort with the interdisciplinary team teaching method on the part of both faculty and students. In the cognitive domain, both team-taught and traditional sections perceived significant gains in understanding both business and natural systems, although the treatment group alone made significant (P < 0.10) gains in linking interdisciplinary thinking and an understanding of both business and natural systems to future success. These findings suggest that the affective and cognitive transformations experienced in team-taught settings are important for teaching expanded worldviews and diverse perspectives.


Keywords: Team teaching, active learning, interdisciplinary studies.