Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Volume: 72 issue: 3, page(s): 368-380
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study is the first to explore the influence of video types (i.e., viewing own teaching videos or videos of others’ teaching) and facilitation (working with an external facilitator) on PE in-service teachers’ reflections and their perceptions of their own and their students’ learning.
Two main research questions underpinned this study:
1: How does the type of video influence PE teachers’ reflection and perceived learning during the TPD?
2: To what extent do facilitators play a role in supporting PE teachers’ perceived depth of reflection and learning during the TPD?
The study was part of a randomized controlled trial, known as the Activity and Motivation in Physical Education (AMPED) project.
Working with 49 teachers, the professional development (TPD) intervention was designed to help teachers learn and implement self-determination theory (SDT) evidence-based teaching practices and strategies during PE lessons.
The focus was to enhance Year 8 students’ motivation and physical activity during PE lessons in secondary schools located in low socioeconomic areas of Western Sydney, Australia.
The TPD was accredited through the state-based teacher governing body and comprised -
(a) 2 days of face-to-face workshops with good (i.e., the good practice video clips showed a specialist PE teacher delivering a PE lesson to university students using the TPD components) and poor practice (i.e., the poor practice video clips showed a specialist PE teacher delivering a PE lesson to university students with poor strategies in place) videos and reflection tasks and one videorecorded lesson and teachers’ reflection on own teaching practice;
(b) two video-recorded lessons and subsequent reflections on teachers’ own teaching practice;
(c) additional video-recorded lessons and online reflection tasks;
(d) individual reflection meetings with a facilitator; and
(e) school-based group reflection meetings with members of the PE Department—one led by a facilitator and the other with the facilitator observing.
In the follow-up period (8 months after the completion of the intervention), teachers participated in a half-day face-to-face workshop, one lesson video reflection on their own teaching practice, and an online reflective task.
Fourteen Western Sydney government-funded secondary schools meeting the inclusion criteria (Lonsdale et al., 2015) volunteered and were randomized into either the intervention (n = 7) or waitlist control group (n = 7).
All PE teachers in the participating schools were eligible to participate, with all 49 PE teachers from the intervention schools consenting to participate in the study (100% recruitment rate).
All intervention teachers completed all video-based reflections by the end of the intervention (100%).
Determined a priori, 1/3 of the intervention teacher sample would be randomly selected (seven males, nine females; 32% of teacher sample) to participate in individual semi-structured interviews.
The authors collected and analyzed a range of sources of qualitative data to answer the research questions.
This approach allowed for triangulation among different sources of evidence regarding the influence of the types of video and facilitation on teachers’ depth of reflection and perceptions of learning.
To determine depth of reflection, they analyzed written teacher reflections, using Larrivee’s (2008) typology, in response to the two types of video material:
(a) recordings of experienced teachers, who were also part of the research team, enacting good and poor practice; and
(b) teachers’ own teaching practice.
In addition, teacher interviews were conducted at the end of the TPD and analyzed to gain further insight into the types of video material, the influence of facilitation on reflection, and perceived teacher learning throughout the TPD program.
Teachers responded to two good and two poor practice clips at Workshops 1 and 2 (i.e., four in total) and wrote eight reflections on their own video-recorded lessons (two for each face-to-face workshop and two for the subsequent lesson videos, that is, eight in total) following the aforementioned prompts.
Therefore, for each intervention teacher (n = 49), there were 12 written reflections in total.
This approach generated 588 individual reflective statements (focusing on the implementation of the principles and selected strategies) that were included in the analyses
Interviews were conducted with 16 intervention teachers at the completion of the entire intervention period (main intervention and follow-up period; end of Term 1, 2015).
Semi-structured interviews were employed due to their structured starting point (a guide focused on the predetermined subject area) and element of flexibility that enables questions to be asked spontaneously when interesting topics arise during the interview (Patton, 2015).
Each interview lasted between 15 and 45 min.
Findings and discussion
Overall, teachers perceived their reflections upon their own teaching video clips to be the most beneficial component of the TPD.
In addition, teachers believed there was value in the good and poor practice videos, but these videos could have been more influential on teachers’ learning if they had authentically emulated real high school environments.
These findings support previous research which suggests that teachers experience stronger feelings of immersion, resonance, authenticity, and motivation when viewing their own teaching, rather than another context, where the classroom or students are perceived to be too different (Goldman et al., 2014; Lemke, 2007; Seidel et al., 2011).
While the teachers reported that they learned the most from viewing their own lesson video in terms of changing their teaching practice, the analysis of reflective data using Larrivee’s typology showed that the depth of teacher reflections remained similar—at a pedagogical level—when teachers were reflecting on either video format.
This may be due to a number of reasons, including the fact that teachers had more time to immerse themselves, without distractions, in the good and poor practice and own teaching video clip reflections during the workshops when compared with their own school and home context where finding time to reflect on their own teaching video clips was challenging, and the good and poor practice videos were used as an instructional tool that followed lectures delivered to support learning of “new” pedagogical strategies underpinned by theory, and therefore teachers were able to recognize and justify the use of pedagogical strategies immediately in the good and poor practice video clips through their reflections.
This suggests that imparting theoretical content, pedagogical knowledge, and student learning information, before introducing stock video clips, is important for reflection and teacher learning as it gives teachers a particular filter for viewing such videos.
The teachers in this study valued the role of the external facilitator for reinforcing learning and extending ideas that were noted in teachers’ individual reflections.
While the facilitators did not focus on (or appear to influence) the depth of reflection, they provided opportunities for meaningful discussions with and between teachers about the content of their reflections, their own teaching practices, and bringing individual learning to the forefront of collaborative discussions with members of their Faculty.
In some schools, the TPD led to systemic changes in policy and practice across all PE teaching lessons, due to the combination of video-based reflective tasks and external facilitation.
In this study, most teachers engaged in a pedagogical level of reflection, which is not surprising given the focus on implementing motivational and instructional strategies to improve physical activity levels in PE.
Reflecting at the pedagogical level is helpful for changing teaching practice in the short term but engaging in critical reflective practice is necessary for substantial, sustainable, and impactful change to teaching practice for student learning (Brookfield, 1995; Hatton & Smith, 1995; Kemmis, 2011; Larrivee, 2000).
The authors’ findings highlight the value of observing other teachers in action as well as viewing video footage of teachers’ own practice.
The findings also demonstrate the importance of external facilitators in supporting teacher learning and changes in teaching practice; however, more focus needs to be placed on how facilitators engage with teachers to develop critically reflective thought.
The results from this study reinforce the importance of researchers, teachers, and facilitators delivering and participating in TPD collaboratively, using stock and own video-based clips of teachers’ lessons to provide opportunities for more specific pedagogical learning in teachers’ own school and classroom contexts.
Future research should focus on strategies that may increase the depth of teacher reflection on their own practices, which is considered a first step toward changing classroom practice and improving student outcomes.
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