Collected from the Cutting Room Floor: An Examination of Teacher Education Approaches to Digital Video Editing as a Tool for Shifting Classroom Practices

Jan. 01, 2011
Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 11(1), 118- 148. (2011)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The authors goal was to examine anecdotes of teacher education, which have used digital video editing as a process of defining teaching expertise.
Four separate approaches to employing digital video editing were examined with preservice and in-service teachers in an attempt to find common themes:
1. Sustaining Learning Communities Through Mentorship for Emerging Definitions of Best Practices
2. Using Video Confessionals in a Service-Learning Course
3. Defining Expertise Through Developed Coding Systems
4. The Examination of Preservice SMET Service Learning Outreach via Video Editing
When the teachers read or watch examples of others teaching, many counterproductive social patterns populate the efforts to press in on critical reflection. 
Disruptive and typical patterns of response include the predisposition of some preservice teachers to be openly dismissive of exemplary inquiry teaching vignettes. Some assume their own teaching would be richer, more effective, more straightforward, and without complication.
The authors claim we must create challenging yet supportive environments in which to be critical of actual teaching events. Teachers need to delve into the discrepancies between their beliefs about effective teaching and what they observe in their own teaching excerpts as they construct arguments, code video, and share personal and experiences that move them forward in their thinking.
Effectiveness of digital video
Digital video is more effective because of the nature of the investment and the depth of interaction surrounding the taping, planning and the participating in the editing process. The extended engagement with their teaching examples caused the teachers to think critically about how their practice aligned with their beliefs. 
While video has been used for reflection and teacher change in the past, digital video editing as a tool for analysis is still rather new to teaching and professional development. It empowered teachers in the process of critically evaluating teaching, even in the period of a single semester.
Common themes that emerged from data across all four projects designed by the four approaches were predicated upon such facets of professional development as purposeful disruption of traditional teaching, the promotion of rigorous participation in analysis of effective teaching strategies, and the building of learning communities through apprenticeship models.
The author's findings contrast typical video usage in teacher preparation, in which teachers reflect upon the practice of others in vicarious case studies or express only happy narratives regarding teaching successes: "Video production and reflection on practice became a process of reinventing oneself—a process of examining but then recreating one’s teacher identity through taking a finer grained look at one’s own practice through a focused lens."
Updated: Jan. 27, 2013