What Do Teachers Think and Feel When Analyzing Videos of Themselves and Other Teachers Teaching?

Jul. 01, 2013

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 33, (July 2013), p. 13-23
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study focused on the effects of different videotaped material on teachers’ cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes.
The authors assumed that different learning goals could be realized through observation of videos of one’s own teaching as compared to observation of videos of others’ teaching.

The participants were 10 eighth-grade mathematics teachers, who analyzed videos of their own or other teachers’ classroom instruction.
To investigate the differential effects of observing videos of oneself or of others teaching, the authors focused on individual reflection on videos using a quasi-experimental research approach.

They provided teachers in the Own Video Group and Other Video Group with the same instructions and questions throughout the observation process.
The analysis was based on the evaluation of written comments made by the participants during the two observation periods and their answers to fixed-response rating items after each observation stage.


The findings indicate that teachers viewing videos of other teachers are more deeply engaged in analysis of problematic events.
The knowledge-based reasoning processes of the Other Video Group members contained more frequent reflections on alternative ways of dealing with negatively perceived events. Likewise, members of the Other Video Group explicated situations and the consequences of the videotaped teacher’s actions in greater depth than did members of the Own Video Group. By contrast, the Own Video Group members tended only to perceive, describe, and evaluate situations.

In addition to the influence of the video-based approach on cognitive processes, the authors considered the role of the individual, computer-based setting and the limited time for analysis of participants.
The findings suggest that teachers reflecting on their own videos are in such an extent accustomed to their own practice and their strategies of self-reflection, thus they are less able to reflect about alternatives to their own practices.
In contrast, it appears that teachers observing videos of others’ teaching are less guided by their natural teaching habits and self-reflection on their teaching behaviors.
Teachers observing others’ teaching are conceivably better able to concentrate on critical situations and analyze sequences in greater depth.
The results also reveal that Other Video Group members reported notably more negative emotions, i.e. disappointment with teaching actions, as well as slightly more positive emotions.
In addition, their comments revealed a higher level of immersion with pupils’ activities.
The findings suggest that videos of others’ teaching activate negative emotions, mainly disappointment in the teaching performance of others.

Second, observing one’s own videos does not automatically activate emotional-motivational processes.
Rather, the way those videos are presented may affect teachers’ cognitive and non-cognitive responses.
Certain aspects of these video-based approach might have been ill-suited to evoking positive emotional-motivational reactions from teachers observing their own videos.
Therefore, these limits could have led to inhibition or avoidance, which could explain the relatively restrained comments on emotions and motivations.

Third, results revealed that differences between the groups were higher in cognitive processes than in emotional processes.
Accordingly, the teachers’ prior experience and knowledge may have exerted a stronger influence on their reflections on their own videos than on their emotional reactions.

Furthermore, the exploratory analysis indicated that negative emotion was associated with cognitively controlled analysis processes when teachers observed videos of their own classrooms.
The authors were able to reveal significant correlations between the cognitive process of dealing with negative events and negative emotional processes in both the Own Video and Other Video Group.
The correlation analysis showed a positive association between negative emotions and in-depth reflection on alternatives within both groups.
Hence, the authors conclude that, in particular, the emotion of disappointment may encourage teachers observing others’ videos to reflect on possible alternatives.

The results suggested that videos of others’ teaching may be valuable for initiating theoretically oriented, systematic reflection in teacher PD.
The authors argue that in order to enable in-depth analysis for teachers observing their own teaching in individual settings, one solution may be to thoroughly prepare them for the analysis.
Questions or reflection tasks should probably be implemented selectively and more carefully than they are in settings in which teachers observe videos of other teachers.
Finally, this study demonstrates the benefits of comparing teachers’ analysis of their own and others’ videos.
The authors pointed out that the individual analysis of one’s own and others’ videos results in differential effects on cognition, motivation, and emotion that may not always be intuitive or easily observable in individual and group settings.

Updated: Dec. 21, 2015