Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 19(5), p. 457–475, (2016)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This paper aims to examine the potential of video-catalysed reflective practice for supporting ongoing teacher professional learning in numeracy.
Specifically, the authors will explore the effectiveness of two different formats of video-based professional learning programmes: the first involving one teacher and one researcher and the second two teachers and two researchers, both of which took place over relatively short periods of time.
The authors collected data, which were drawn from two studies conducted independently by different teams of researchers.
The purpose of the first study was to investigate the use of video-stimulated recall in support of reflection on practice when a single teacher worked with a single researcher.
The second study examined the use of video-stimulated recall in promoting the reflective practice of two teachers working collaboratively with two researchers.
The authors intend to compare and contrast the outcomes of these different formats of video-supported professional learning.
The participants were three upper primary school teachers from three different small nonmetropolitan schools.
In the first study, the authors employed participatory action research (PAR) as the aims of the study were to develop teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and capabilities in relation to an aspect of teaching identified as problematic. The researcher and teacher in this case study worked together to develop approaches to enhancing students’ conceptual understanding through investigative pedagogies.
The second study was part of a larger research project located in a different Australian state.
The study involved pairs of teachers working collaboratively within year levels to plan lesson sequences targeting the teaching of decimal fractions.
For this study, the authors chose a design-based research approach as this methodology is supportive of collaborative partnerships between teachers and university researchers that aim to affect educational reform. In the second study, teachers and researchers collaborated with a view of enhancing numeracy teaching practice.
Discussion and conclusion
The findings reveal that the participants found video-stimulated recall a powerful medium for revealing aspects of their practice they had not previously considered. While viewing the lessons, they were able to gain a realistic picture of his students’ classroom experiences. As a consequence, they began to engage with evaluative discourse in considering what their students could do differently if he conducted the lesson in a different way. By doing so, they moved from a state of unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence by engaging with only one video-based teacher professional learning (VBTPL) session. The participants' transition from one who favoured transmissive teaching approaches through to a more investigative pedagogy marked their shift to a state of conscious competence.
The participants also acknowledged the crucial role the researcher played in his attempts to improve his teaching practice.
In each circumstance, all participants demonstrated that they could be critical of themselves in relation to current or past teaching practice.
The authors have demonstrated the viability of a theoretical framework for the identification and tracking of changes to teachers’ states of awareness and levels of reflection. The authors argue that knowledge of teachers’ readiness for change is potentially important information for facilitators of video-based professional learning.