Effects of Video Club Participation on Teachers' Professional Vision

Feb. 01, 2009

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 60, Number 1, January/February 2009. p. 20-37
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examines mathematics teacher learning in a video-based professional development environment called video clubs. In particular, the authors explore whether teachers develop professional vision, the ability to notice and interpret significant
features of classroom interactions, as they participate in a video club. Analysis for the study is based on data from two year-long video clubs in which teachers met monthly to watch and discuss video excerpts from each others’ classrooms.

Video Club Designs

Four middle school mathematics teachers participated in the Nile Video Club, which met monthly across one school year for a total of seven meetings. On average, the meetings lasted 40 minutes. The teachers had a range of years of teaching experience, from 1 to 28 years. They volunteered to participate and were paid a nominal stipend at the end of the year. Nile Middle School is located in an affluent suburb of a major U.S. city on the West Coast, with over 70% of the student population reporting as Caucasian.

The Mapleton Video Club was composed of seven elementary school teachers who taught grades 4 through 5. The teachers met once or twice a month across one school year for a total of 10 meetings. The meetings, which took place after school, lasted approximately 1 hour. This group of teachers also had a range of teaching experience, from 1 to 19 years. Yet unlike the participants in the Nile Video Club, this group was selected by the school principal for participation in the video club. They were, however, still paid a small stipend at the end of the year. Mapleton School is located in an urban area near a large Midwestern city. The student population is primarily African American, and approximately 60% receive free or reduced lunch.

Participating in a video club was found to influence the teachers’ professional vision as exhibited in the video club meetings, in interviews outside of the video club meetings, and in the teachers’ instructional practices. These results suggest that professional vision is a productive lens for investigating teacher learning via video. In addition, this article illustrates that video clubs have the potential to support teacher learning in ways that extend beyond the boundaries of the video club meetings themselves.

Updated: Mar. 23, 2009