Video has been used in a multitude of ways throughout teacher preparation programs without a consistent application from all educators. Research has been conducted to examine ways in which video is leveraged to enhance understanding of teacher practices, student conceptions of mathematics, and what viewers notice while watching the video. This literature review will lay the groundwork of what has been discussed in the field of video use in teacher education, including in-service and preservice teachers. Detailed are the types of video databases that exist and the use of self-video in the classroom accompanied by the research findings for each. Due to an abundance of research in mathematics noticing, a section is devoted to the use of video in uncovering what viewers notice mathematically from their experience as well as the various modes of facilitation to use while harnessing the potential power of incorporating video in teacher education.
Type of Video Use
Currently, there exists multiple publically available databases of video from classrooms that can be used in preservice teacher education programs. As part of a large scale video study in 1999, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (UCLA & Teaching, 1999) seven participating countries recorded more than 1,000 videos of eighth grade mathematics and science classrooms. While not all of the videos are available for public consumption, they have published a handful from each country to use in comparing and contrasting methods used in different countries by selecting videos that contain key features of lessons from a particular country. The number of videos available are limited and the amount of additional resources to accompany the videos are also limited. Viewers of the videos are provided transcripts, copies of classroom materials, and timestamped commentary from both researchers and filmed teachers.
WBGH Boston (1996) produced a video library for secondary mathematics (grades 9-12) using curriculum based on NCTM curriculum guidelines. While they claim the video uses a diverse group of settings including the types of developed human settlements and geographic regions in the United States, there are only a limited number of videos available and the videos are out of date. They highlight the use of collaborative work environments in the classroom as a model for what effective teaching might look like. These videos are considered exemplar teaching scenarios and include narration from the teachers about their lessons and commentary from the students to exhibit the effectiveness of the teaching methods in the video. They provide documents for exploration and discussion ideas to focus attention of the viewers on strengthening their ability to reflect.
The Mathematics Assessment Project (“Prototype Professional Development Modules,” n.d.) provides five modules for professional development using video of classrooms from England. Each module includes materials for viewers including lesson plans, videos of teachers implementing the lesson plan, and discussions of reflections by the teachers after the implementation and recording of the lesson. Professional development modules are also provided for either the viewer or facilitator including guiding questions for reflection on the activities. The videos are limited in the demographics represented including the geographical location of the teachers and not representative of the larger teaching population.
While there are many videos in circulation, there appears to be a gap in recent videos of classrooms from the United States that are not presented as exemplars of teaching practice. It would be beneficial to provide viewers with the compilation of materials that other repositories have provided, including classroom materials, transcripts of the lessons, discussion guides, and teacher reflections. For use with preservice teachers, it might also be useful to include documentation of the planning process that teachers undergo before implementing the lesson to provide insight on how practicing teachers formulate their lesson plan and connection their knowledge about the students to the planning process. It is also important to include a framework for analysis of the video for viewers and to include any framework the recorded teachers are using when planning and reflecting upon their own lessons.
Student responses in class can open an important window into student thinking. Noticing a student’s mathematical thinking requires a person to have strong content knowledge to listen and interpret what students are saying (Sherin, Jacobs, & Philipp, 2011).
When considering how a teacher notices events in the classroom, it may be difficult to actually understand what a person is noticing during a surface level conversation, but if provided the opportunity to revisit a conversation, what a person or teacher noticed about an event can be analyzed more closely. Researcher have taken slightly different approaches to defining mathematical noticing. Some consider noticing to be defined as a teacher attending to observations through adjustments in instruction (Sherin, Russ, & Colestock, 2011; Star, Lynch, & Perova, 2011) while others include the process of the making sense of an interaction as part of noticing (Erickson, 2011; Goldsmith & Seago, 2011; Jacobs, Lamb, Philipp, & Schappelle, 2011; Kazemi et al., 2011; van Es, 2011). An even deeper divide comes when some researchers consider a persons’ interpretation as part of noticing (Kazemi et al., 2011; van Es, 2011) while others feel the need to include a persons’ decision on how to respond as evidence of noticing and sense making.
Video has been used by various researchers as a tool to leverage a teacher’s ability to notice when analyzing classroom instruction. Researchers have found that as in-service teachers participating in professional development with a focus on mathematical noticing important classroom features, actually exhibit changes in observational behavior after their experiences (Sherin, Linsenmeier, & van Es, 2009).Similarly, Sherin and Han (2004) found that in-service teachers were able to evolve their analysis of pedagogy and student conceptions through participation in the video club. Through a one-year interaction with video in professional development, teachers were able to alter what they attended to when viewing the video and how they analyzed events (Sherin & van Es, 2009). An obvious prediction would be that preservice teachers partaking in similar activities would have similar experiences and show evidence of growth comparable to that of in-service teachers if the material is presented in a manner that is meaningful to them.
During a similar time frame some researchers analyzed the impact of video on preservice teachers’ ability to notice. Star and Strickland (2008) analyzed the impact of a one semester course on the teachers using pre and post assessments to determine their ability to observe various parts of the lessons with particular attention paid to their ability to notice as defined by van Es and Sherin (2008). Star et al. (2011) conducted a replication study looking to mirror the results of the first study. However, the results from the initial study varied greatly from the replication study. Initially Star and Strickland (2008) found that there was significant improvement on a preservice teacher’s ability to notice in general. When what preservice teachers were noticing was broken into more descriptive categories, the teachers improved in the categories of classroom environment, tasks, mathematical content, and communication. While the preservice teachers did improve in their ability to notice feature related to the mathematical content, the improvement was not great and the researchers noted a lack in attention given to important content issues. This lack of attention to content was actually reinforced through the replication study. Star et al. (2011) found the preservice teachers did not make gains in noticing either mathematical content or tasks.
More recently, researchers looked into video as a tool to foster more productive conversations with preservice teachers and their mentees (Roller, 2016), determining if video analysis can assist in deepening preservice teacher’s ability to notice significant classroom events (McDuffie et al., 2014), and to compare the effects of a video reflection program and a journaling reflection on their ability to notice (Kleinknecht & Gröschner, 2016). Roller (2016) used self-video of preservice teachers as a catalyst for starting conversations with mentors around classroom interactions. She found that based on (van Es & Sherin, 2008) definition of noticing, preservice teachers were able to identify important classroom features and connect what they were noticing to prior experiences. Whereas, McDuffie et al. (2014) found that while through their teacher preparation program, preservice teachers where able to enhance their ability to notice salient classroom features and attend to equitable instructional practices, the facilitators activities and prompts played a large role in developing the noticing ability. Kleinknecht and Gröschner (2016) address the concerns of McDuffie et al. (2014) by providing an extremely structured video reflection program for in-service teachers to improve their ability to notice. After analyzing the impact of the program, Kleinknecht and Gröschner (2016) found that preservice teachers in the video reflection group increased their score on reflection of alternative teaching strategies in a video which was significantly different than the control group indicating that their ability to notice and reflect had improved.
Lastly, there was also multiple instances of self-reported perceived benefits of video use in teacher learning. Preservice teachers reported that the use of video allows classes to be viewed more than once, giving teachers greater opportunity to notice (Roller, 2016). Preservice teachers also shared that their believed video observation allowed them greater opportunities for self-reflection on their learning experiences as compared on field observations (Santagata, Zannoni, & Stigler, 2007).
Modes of Facilitation
Using an Existing Framework to Analyze Video
While the open viewing of video of a classroom will provide a window for a researcher to learn about a preservice teacher’s initial interpretation of noticing of important classroom features, it can limit the opportunities for interactions among preservice teachers. Aligned with other researchers, Mitchell and Marin (2015) sought to examine how video analysis can improve a preservice teacher’s ability to notice, but added the element of examination through a particular framework, Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) (Hill et al., 2008). Previous to this work, research was conducted to analyze teacher learning and ability to reflect using classroom videos when viewed and discussed through a Lesson Analysis Framework (Barnhart & van Es, 2015; Santagata & Angelici, 2010; Santagata et al., 2007).
Mitchell and Marin (2015) observed that the preservice teachers were more aware of the classroom features significant in the MQI framework in their own teaching after the intervention than they were before. One study found that the participants that used of the Lesson Analysis Framework were able to improve their lesson analysis after their intervention compared to those preservice teachers that did not use the framework (Santagata & Angelici, 2010). However, due to methodological inconsistencies, the application of the Lesson Analysis Framework could not be accurately analyzed to determine its impact (Santagata et al., 2007).
Often when teachers reflect on recorded video of classroom interactions, they are left with a feeling that they do not have the complete picture. They want to know what came before or after the clip they are watching, what the background story of the students are, and the reasoning process the teacher underwent when either planning or reflecting on their own lesson. One interesting approach that was found in only one research article was the incorporation of the recorded teacher and in-service teachers in discussion with preservice teachers to create a community focused on discussion and reflection on video cases (Koc, Peker, & Osmanuglu, 2009). These discussion forums were conducted online to determine if this manner of facilitation promoted a higher quality discussion. They found that the inclusion of the case study teacher allowed the preservice teachers to get a window into what was going on behind the scenes and in turn enhanced “theory-practice connections”.
An alternative to incorporating the recorded teacher in discussions is facilitating video clubs as a method of incorporating video into teacher learning with a twist of using self-video. However, this method is most often seen in practice with in-service teacher because the nature of the activity requires the participants to record their own teaching and select clips for discussion with each other (Sherin & Han, 2004; van Es, 2012; van Es & Sherin, 2008). In the models of video clubs, the video segments selected are not meant to be exemplars of teacher, but rather to have the goal of inciting teacher inquiry and reflection on their teaching practice (Sherin & Han, 2004). Through work with in-service teachers in video clubs, researchers have found that participating teachers improved their methods of analysis of pedagogy and student understandings (Sherin & Han, 2004), showed improvements in noticing through changes in interactions over time (van Es & Sherin, 2008), and that the context of a video club promotes discourse about student thinking (van Es, 2012).
Recently, researchers have attempted to translate the findings from in-service teachers in video clubs to preservice teachers. The challenge faced in this attempt is the limited opportunities that preservice teachers have to teach and record those teaching experiences. Most teaching methods courses occur prior to their student teaching experience. However, Johnson and Cotterman (2015) were able to apply the concept during the student teaching experience with preservice secondary science teachers to analyze the impact that the video clubs might have on the initiation of discourse and Mitchell and Marin (2015) employed similar strategies with elementary preservice teachers during their fieldwork experiences. The later study highlighted one limitation as the inability of the preservice teachers to select the actual lesson they were teaching due to the confines of the cooperating teacher. Similar to the video club studies on in-service teachers, both preservice teacher studies found improvements on the teachers’ ability to notice (Johnson & Cotterman, 2015; Mitchell & Marin, 2015). In addition to improving their noticing it was also found that preservice teachers “adopted a more interpretive stance toward classroom components” (Mitchell & Marin, 2015, p. 571) and the group of preservice science teachers developed stronger connections between content and pedagogy (Johnson & Cotterman, 2015).
Gaps in Literature
While there is research on the use of video in improving secondary mathematics teachers’ ability to notice, especially in the context of video clubs, and some researchers have attempted to transfer this research to pre-service teaching experiences, there is no research on how this is done for prospective secondary mathematics teachers. The work of the two groups detailed above leave a window open to study how the use of existing video coupled with the experiences of a video club can impact preservice teachers.
Although the value of including video in pre-service education was shown, there is the possibility for more research on how video can be embedded in more meaningful ways (Kleinknecht & Gröschner, 2016). For instance, as a field we are striving to find ways to support novice teachers to consistently investigate their own and others’ practice (Benedict-Chambers, 2016). There is no research examining the long-term impact of either video case studies or video clubs on preservice teachers after they have entered the teaching field. As a field we need to determine if preservice teachers continue to employ the strategies they developed to improve their practice once they are in the classroom.
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