Seeing through a Different Lens: What Do Interns Learn When They Make Video Cases of their Own Teaching?

Jan. 10, 2010

Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 45, Issue 1 (January 2010), pages 1 - 22.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study focused on four preservice teacher candidates who were completing a yearlong internship at a Midwestern university in the United States to earn initial teacher certification.
In their courses, the interns were learning to facilitate interactive discussions in English language arts and reviewing videotapes of their lessons with colleagues.

The authors investigated how the interns' perceptions of their self-selected audience influenced what they noticed, talked about, and learned as they constructed a video case about their teaching.

Participants and Setting

After earning a baccalaureate degree, preservice teacher candidates participate in a yearlong internship to earn teacher certification. A female elementary intern and three female secondary English interns participated in the study.
These four interns were representative of interns in the program in that they are Caucasian, middle class, and were approximately 22 years old at the time of the study. They were strong academically and motivated to improve their practice, as is typical of students who elect to do a fifth-year internship.

Interns were placed in a classroom with a cooperating teacher who provided mentoring and opportunities for collaboration. The interns were supervised by university field instructors and took two master's courses per semester.

The interns were asked to create a video case of their discussion-based teaching and to participate in a series of three interviews. Upon joining the study, interns were told they could use that same video to construct their video case, or they could make a new video. The videos they featured in their cases were based on lessons they developed on their own (as opposed to ones prescribed by the curriculum), ones that they thought illustrated an interactive discussion.


The interns' perception of their chosen audience influenced their purpose for the case, what they paid attention to during the case construction process, and the evidence they included in their case.

Two interns designated themselves as the audience for their cases and identified their purpose as furthering their own learning. By selecting themselves as the audience for their video case, Anna and Candace created a space to analyze and reflect on their class discussion. They problematized specific aspects of their lessons, focused on identifying strengths and weaknesses, and through that process intended to learn ways to improve their facilitation of interactive discussions.

The two others constructed their cases for public audiences and identified their purpose as showcasing or demonstrating high-quality practice. By selecting a public audience for their video cases, Jenna and Sandy used video case construction as an opportunity to see themselves in a positive light and present a strong image of themselves.

All interns gained insights about their teaching as they constructed their case.
Implications for teacher education and future research directions are discussed.


Updated: Feb. 21, 2010