This study examines an innovative professional development program that provides teachers with an opportunity to practice pedagogical strategies in a low stakes classroom context. Elementary teachers participated in a one-week summer Institute and two-week Practicum focused on learning strategies for facilitating scientific discourse and argumentation in their classrooms. During the Practicum, teachers taught lessons in a summer program for elementary school students and engaged in daily video-based discussions to reflect on their instruction. This study identified the instructional practices that were most emphasized during the Institute and examined the extent to which teachers took up those practices during the subsequent practicum experience. A classroom vignette illustrates how one teacher engaged her students in the discourse practices, and a coaching vignette portrays her video reflection group’s discussion of the episode. Findings suggest that the focal instructional practices were taken up to different degrees during the Practicum, and that opportunities for practice and reflection are potentially valuable features of professional development programs. The project illustrates the value of video as a tool for both professional development and research.
Berson, E., Borko, H., Million, S., Khachatryan, E., & Glennon, K. (2015). Practice What You Teach: A Video-Based Practicum Model of Professional Development for Elementary Science Teachers. ORBIS SCHOLAE, 9(2), 35–53.