Facilitating Teacher Learning with Video Clips of Instruction in Science

The goal of this study is to build foundational knowledge about teacher learning by using video clips of science instruction within a professional development context. The researchers will study the infusion of principles from cognitive science as possible ways to enhance teacher learning from video, including contrasting cases and self-explanation principles.

Full Description: 

Videos of teaching have become a popular tool for facilitating teacher learning, with the potential to powerfully impact teacher practice. However, less is known about specific mechanisms through which teachers learn from video. The goal of this study is to build foundational knowledge about teacher learning by using video clips of science instruction within a professional development (PD) context. The researchers will study the infusion of principles from cognitive science as possible ways to enhance teacher learning from video (these include contrasting cases and self-explanation principles). PD opportunities that support teachers in making sense of the information about students' thinking and reasoning as students work are rare. Motivation to address this need has led to the interdisciplinary collaboration in this project that will study the use of video clips in teacher PD and explore teacher learning with and from video clips of science instruction in-depth.

This design based research project will pursue descriptive accounts of teacher learning by explaining how and why teachers learn with and from video clips of instruction. The team will draw on cognitive science and learning sciences research, specifically literature on analogical reasoning and self-explanation, to unpack mechanisms through which videos support teacher learning and the conditions under which they do so. Evidence pertaining to teacher learning will be gathered through teachers' participation in video-rich PD, semi-structured interviews with teachers around video clips and prompts for interacting with the clips, and classroom observations. Through intentionally designed video clips and supporting structures, the project will help to uncover how to support noticing of 1) students' thinking and reasoning and 2) critical and often nuanced differences between more and less productive teaching practices that facilitate students' intellectual engagement in performance assessment tasks. The study has the potential to extend the current knowledge on the kinds of evidence-based learning structures that can enhance teachers' learning to notice important classroom interactions as they learn to develop ambitious teaching practices.

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