Source: Teacher Development, Vol. 18, No. 3, 403–417, 2014
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this article, the authors review the use of video technology in teacher initial and continuing professional development.
The perspective which has guided and motivated this review is the authors' advocacy of the wider use of video in teacher education, because of its potential to stimulate, support and structure dialogue between educational theory and classroom practice.
The authors' purpose was to review the international literature base in order to evaluate what is currently known about the impact of video technology upon the development of teacher professional knowledge.
The methodology for this literature review closely followed that developed by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Institute1 (EPPI). This systematic review comprised a search of publications from 1990 to the present day cited in databases and key journals with relevance to this area of research.
This review shows that there is reason to believe that video viewing and accompanying discussion between teachers and their coaches, mentors and/or tutors provide a platform for constructing group and individual theorisations of practice, which can in turn potentially promote teacher learning. There is evidence that video technology used synchronously, and particularly asynchronously, can extend the quantity and quality of classroom observation experience, which in turn supports the development of observation, analysis and reflection in viewers.
The authors look at the ‘affordances’ of video: the capacities that it adds to the toolkits of teacher educators. Then, they review two main areas of benefits, which these ‘affordances’ provide:
One of the key outcomes of video use in teacher education at different career stages is an enhancement of teachers’ powers of reflection and analysis.
The second major benefit is that it carries the potential to build ‘noticing’ skills, developing awareness of classroom interactions so that the teacher (and in particular the beginning teacher) moves from paying attention to surface-level features to being able to discern more substantive and significant interactions.
The authors describe how the linking of theory to practice, the development of pedagogical language and collaborative learning through communities of practice might all be related to video-enhanced teacher education. There seems to be significant evidence that the capacity of video to enhance teacher learning is dependent on the interactions and reflections amongst learners stimulated and informed by sessions of video viewing.
The authors say that if experienced teachers want to become teacher educators, it is important for them to develop discourses through which they are able to reflect and discuss conceptualisations of practice.
They argue that it seems to us from this literature review that the active construction of theoretical perspectives in learner teachers to a certain extent requires the creation and sustaining of environments which foster a shared language of pedagogy amongst learners and experienced teachers. It is this common factor which seems to fundamentally underpin the sorts of advantages of video in teacher learning that we have presented above.
The authors conclude that there is a need for more research into several aspects of how learning environments may be constructed that can optimise what seems the significant power of video to transform the learning of teachers and communities of teachers at all stages of their careers.