Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 13, Number 3, 223-241. (June, 2010).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of using video lesson analysis methodology (VLAM) on the ability of prospective secondary mathematics teachers to analyze mathematics teaching.
More specifically, the authors aimed at answering the following research questions:
1. To what extent can the video lesson analysis methodology (VLAM) help PTs pay attention to noteworthy classroom interactions?
2. To what extent can VLAM help PTs interpret these interactions?
3. To what extent can VLAM help PTs link classroom interactions to NCTM vision for mathematics teaching and learning?
The sample of the study consisted of 26 female prospective mathematics teachers enrolled in a methods course at the United Arab Emirates University.
The participants were divided equally into two groups, experimental and control. The experimental group was involved in video lesson analysis where they analyzed ten video lessons throughout the semester. The group members interacted via discussion forums through Blackboard technology. Both groups wrote analyses of two video lessons, one before the intervention program and another at the end of it.
Data for this study originated from two sources: first, participants’ essays which comprehended narrative analyses of pre- and post-intervention videotaped lessons; second, Blackboard discussion forums by means of which experimental PTs submitted essays and exchanged comments on each others’ essays.
It was found that the intervention remarkably improved the ability to analyze mathematics teaching of the experimental group while little improvement occurred to the control group.
The authors believe that the intervention helped PTs improve their analysis of mathematics teaching on the following levels:
First, the experimental PTs learned to pay attention to noteworthy events in classroom interactions; also, they developed the ability to pay attention to student learning when watching and analyzing a lesson. In the other end of the scale, their counterparts in the control group did not attend much to student learning.
Second, the experimental PTs have benefited from the intervention in improving their interpretation skills which grew gradually throughout the semester. Their late electronic discussions and essays provided evidence that they no longer provided evaluative judgments of events; on the contrary, they attempted to understand the events and their consequences on student learning and classroom discourse.
Third, the experimental PTs learned to make connections between classroom events and NCTM vision of teaching and learning as reflected in PSSM (NCTM 2000) and PSTM (NCTM 1991). Actually, connecting classroom specifics with the broader new vision of teaching and learning reflects deeper understanding of this vision and more awareness of what it means to implement standards in the classroom.
In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that teacher education programs need to encourage learning about teaching. Furthermore, they indicate that the use of VLAM was effective in increasing the participants’ knowledge about problems of practice, in directing their attention and raising their sensitivity toward student learning, and in encouraging them to think in greater depth about efficient instructional strategies.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1991). Professional standards for teaching mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.