Catalyzing Student–Teacher Interactions and Teacher Learning in Science Practical Formative Assessment with Digital Video Technology

Jan. 03, 2009

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 25, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 61-67
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This paper reports how a teacher–researcher partnership examined a biology teacher's existing pedagogical practices. Furthermore, the paper attempted, through a task design innovation, to create the circumstances under which more interactive and emergent assessment for learning practices could flourish in her classroom.

Sophia and Her Teaching Context

Sophia is a biology teacher with just 2.5 years of teaching experience in a high school in Singapore. As far as interaction with her colleagues is concerned, Sophia participates in group meetings when there is a specific task to perform, for example, planning an end-of-term assessment for her subject or class level, otherwise, her professional practice is—like most other teachers in her department—individualized and largely private (cf. Lortie, 2002 D.C. Lortie, Schoolteacher: A sociological study (Updated ed.), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2002).Lortie, 2002). Under these circumstances, the authors suspect that Sophia has limited opportunities to share and reflect on her professional and personal experiences in formal settings.

This work involved the use of digital video playback technology as the trigger or catalyst for reflection on concrete experiences by the teacher and her students to occur. Results suggest that the digital video innovation brought about changes in student–teacher interactions in science practical work and assisted the teacher in reflecting on her professional learning. The educative effects produced by the catalyst were dependent on the teacher noticing changes in her students and moving in tandem with them along a parallel path of experiential and practitioner-based learning. Overall, the value of the study undertaken is located in sharing an authentic, lived science assessment experience with the intention of assisting colleagues notice aspects of their own pedagogic practices that may be hidden at present.


Lortie, 2002 D.C. Lortie, Schoolteacher: A sociological study (Updated ed.), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2002)

Updated: Jan. 07, 2009