Collaborative team teaching


  • Shayne Walker Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kahungunu. A lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Community Development at the University of Otago.



social work education, collaborative teaching, team teaching, m?ori academics,


An academic career at Otago University is premised on the idea that we come pre-packaged for teaching, research and community service. In an ideal world this may be so, but in our experience as Māori academics in an applied professional department, this has not been the case for a number of reasons. Firstly, rather than come primarily through the academic system, the lecturing staff in our department come from an applied/professional background where most of us have worked as professional social or community workers. Therefore, our participation in the university system brings with it an enormous amount of practical experience in the fields we are teaching. However, it often lacks some of the key elements important to an academic institution. Developing the knowledge and skill base to undertake research, teaching and community service, especially when you consider professional development, promotion, remuneration and now PBRF, seems like an insurmountable task at times. Our approach has been to develop these things in a way that suits us culturally, personally and academically.

Therefore, this paper will explore some of the reasons and subsequent implications for why we have chosen to work collaboratively and team teach all our papers. For the purposes of this paper we will discuss: ways of knowing; ways of viewing; complementarity of skills; experiential and knowledge bases; collegial relationships; and workload implications. 


Bishop, R. (1991). He Whakawhanaungatanga tikanga rua: Establishing links: A bicultural experience. (Unpublished Masters thesis), University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Bishop, R. (1996). Collaborative stories as kaupapa Māori research. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

Foucault, M. (1980). Power/knowledge – selected interviews and other writings 1972-1977. New York: Pantheon Books.

Tuhiwai Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies research and indigenous peoples. Dunedin: University of Otago Press.

Williams, H. (1975). A dictionary of the Māori language. Wellington: A.R. Shearer, Government Printer.




How to Cite

Walker, S. (2017). Collaborative team teaching. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 20(4), 60–65.