Source: Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, Vol. 15.2, 27–51, 2013.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this article, the authors examined the potential impact of video excerpts of teaching on pre-service teachers' learning. They were also interested to identify and focus on the development of students' understanding of mathematics and the teaching and learning actions likely to facilitate this.
The participants were pre-service teachers in the second year of undergraduate teacher education degree program.
They viewed two different video excerpts of teaching a basic mathematics concept. After watching each of the videos, the students completed a video-observation pro-forma, and the tutor was interviewed. A video-observation pro-forma examined what the participants had noticed and attended to in their watching of the video excerpts, such as aspects of the teacher's practice that were effective or list questions they would ask the teacher. They were also asked to evaluate the value of video excerpts as a teaching tool.
The authors found that many of the pre-service teachers were interested in the development of students' understanding. However, many of the participants struggled to identify evidence of it or observable teaching actions likely to contribute to it.
Furthermore, the data showed that the video excerpts enabled the pre-service teachers to articulate firm opinions about teaching that were, in many cases, about practices that differed from their own experiences.
In addition, the findings revealed the effectiveness of discussions, in which preservice teachers are asked to cite specific evidence of claims that they make about the effectiveness or otherwise of observed teaching and learning activities.
This study suggests that students' work and students' mathematical thinking could usefully be foundational to the entire mathematics education program that the pre-service teachers undertake.
Finally, the authors conclude that the findings show that many pre-service teachers are interested in the development of students' understanding even if unsure of how to gauge it.
In addition, these results also demonstrate that the majority are also able to look beyond the specifics of the lesson observed to broader pedagogical principles.