10 SES 13 B, Video as a Tool for Stimulating Teacher Reflection and Learning
For some time, many professional development programs have included video recordings of classroom incidents as a catalyst to discussion (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2000). The use of such Video Cases has taken many forms. Video case studies capture the ‘visual, nonverbal, physical, tactile, and verbal elements of teaching’, and ‘bring together both teaching action and space for reflection’ (Harris et al., 2005). Further, such records of everyday teaching practice, when used skilfully by collaborative teams of teachers and academics, afford the possibility of building theory and couching such theory in the language of teacher learning and everyday classroom practice (Shulman, 1992).
Clarke and Hollingsworth (2002) outlined an empirically grounded model of professional growth that incorporated key features of contemporary learning theory. The non-linear structure of the model provides recognition of the situated and personal nature, not just of teacher practice, but of teacher growth: an individual amalgam of practice, meanings, and context. This model identifies reflection and enaction as key mechanisms in the process of teacher growth. This symposium specifically addresses the use of video to stimulate teacher reflection.
In conventional models of professional development, the university academic is positioned as ‘outside expert’ with the role of sharing knowledge and expertise with the community of teachers who are consequently positioned as ‘needy’, lacking the academic’s knowledge or expertise. In the last decade, research on professional development focused on bringing together science and classroom practice, for example with a focus on professional communities (Lachance & Confrey, 2003) or communities of practice (Krainer, 2003; Zaslavsky & Leikin, 2004). These efforts of fusing teacher education and research are mostly intervention research; that is, the same people responsible for the intervention do the research. In neither situation, in-service professional development or research, can the relationship between academic and teacher be described as a partnership. Recently developed programs in several countries have contested this positioning and constructed programs in which significant agency resides with the participating teachers.
Presentation One (Grau, Calcagni, Ortiz & Preiss) reports research into the use of classroom videos to sustain learning communities of teachers and university academics. The videos were sampled from a substantial online repository of classroom videos. Presentation Two (Karsenty & Arcavi) introduces a specific framework to assist teachers in their analysis of selected classroom video material in order to enhance their self-inspective abilities. In Presentation Three (Hollingsworth & Kusznirczuk), teachers engage in discussion of a video of their practice focusing on a facet of that practice chosen by the teacher using a framework developed for this study. The three presentations address the use of videos of the practice of others and of the self to stimulate teacher reflection, with and without the provision of a framework to structure their reflection. This particular combination of studies offers insights into the merit and significance of two key decisions regarding the use of videos in promoting teachers’ reflection on their practice: Videos of whose practice? Analysed with whose framework?
The studies reported in this symposium were undertaken in Chile, Israel and Australia, respectively. It is encouraging and informative that teacher professional development programs in such disparate communities are constituted through selective variation in the same structural elements and reflect a similar prioritisation of teacher agency and reflection. It is hoped that the symposium will inform other professional development programs employing video to stimulate teacher reflection on practice.
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