Videotaped teaching segments and the preservice teacher: Developing reflective practice

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    Videotaped teaching segmentsand the preservice teacher:Developing reflective practiceJill C. Miels aa Elementary Education , Ball State UniversityPublished online: 20 Jan 2010.

    To cite this article: Jill C. Miels (1999) Videotaped teaching segments and thepreservice teacher: Developing reflective practice, The Teacher Educator, 34:3,181-188, DOI: 10.1080/08878739909555198

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  • VIDEOTAPED TEACHING SEGMENTSAND THE PRESERVICE TEACHER:

    DEVELOPING REFLECTIVE PRACTICE

    Jill C. Miels,Elementary Education, Ball State University

    AbstractThis article describes a project that uses videotaped segments of "best

    practice" teaching methods with freshman practicum students in amidsized university. The rationale, process of collecting teaching segments,and preliminary use of two tapes are presented. Initial response suggeststhat using videotaped teaching segments with preservice teaching majorsis a positive approach to introducing students to the intricacies ofteaching and learning.

    Educational reformers have suggested that teacher educationinstitutions rethink how preservice programs support prospectiveteachers in reflecting on their beliefs and practices about classroominstruction (Darling-Hammond, Wise, &C Klein, 1995; Goodlad,1990, 1994; Schon 1990). Goodlad (1994) advocated that "programsfor the education of educators be characterized in all respects by theconditions for learning that future teachers are to establish in theirown schools and classrooms" (p. 84). Preservice teachers will need tobe immersed in the types of experiences that encourage explorationof these conditions for learning, conditions such as guided reflection,examination of personal beliefs about teaching and learning, and theability to communicate their beliefs. For effective behaviors tobecome habits, preservice teachers should encounter these conditionsfrequently and in a variety of settings. In an effort to begin providingquality experiences for freshman teacher educatiommajors, a projectwas proposed that used a variety of videotaped, school-relatedepisodes. Taping took place at a laboratory school on the campus of amidsized university.

    The Purpose of and Impetus for the ProgramThree factors influenced the implementation of this project.

    First, it was believed that video clips of "best practice" strategies, asdemonstrated by classroom teachers, would clearly illustrate theobjectives established for an introductory practicum course forpreservice teachers. The course in question included a seminar

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  • component and a lab component consisting of four classroomexperiences.

    It was also expected that using videotaped teaching segmentswould enable preservice teachers to participate in guided reflectionthroughout the semester rather than just during the four assigned labdays. Videotaping would also allow multiple viewings at any timeduring the semester.

    Finally, monies were available to faculty who wished to learn newtechnology and who would incorporate the knowledge gained intoexisting practices. Funding came from an internal source with anemphasis on videotaping and editing.

    The purpose of this project was to develop, in cooperation withthe laboratory school faculty, a video library depicting effectiveteaching strategies. Footage was to be accumulated that preservedauthentic examples of teaching and learning in categories relevant tothe preservice teacher's needs and that supported instruction in theDepartment of Elementary Educations sequence of practicumcourses. Categories to be emphasized in the video series included butwere not limited to lesson planning, management situations, gradelevel expectations, environmental aspects of teaching, and specialopportunities such as transition times. An additional intent was toprovide opportunities for the education majors to experience,observe, and discuss aspects of classroom life that are not accessible tothem because of scheduling or because those aspects are experiencedonly upon securing a teaching position.

    Videotapes and the Preservice TeacherA review of literature revealed some evidence of the use of video-

    taped "best practice" episodes with preservice teachers. Videotape use,however, was primarily seen with juniors and seniors. Kasten andFerraro (1995) used the evaluation of videotaped teaching segmentswith student teacher interns. They found that videotape provided"the scaffolding necessary for the interns to link previous knowledgefrom professional course work with current experiences" (p. 9). Thestructured opportunity for reflection appeared to have positive effectsfor both preservice teachers and university instructors. Kasten andFerraros study emphasized the importance of providing multipleopportunities for preservice teachers to engage in reflection.

    Jensen (1994) used videotaped teaching segments in a juniorpracticum placement. His study also supported the use of audiovisualtechnology as a tool for reflection in teacher education. Jenson noted,

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  • "preservice teachers could benefit from more instruction andexperience with videotaping, self assessment, and reflection ingeneral" (p. 9).

    Thompson and Wiegmann (1993) reported on a videodiscproject sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education thatrecorded outstanding classroom teachers teaching in their ownclassrooms. The segments were to be used to illustrate pedagogicalconcepts. Thompson and Wiegmann noted that preservice teachers .would finally be able to "view the same lesson through the eyes of achild, the teacher, a science educator, or their own . . ." (p. 6).

    A final project relevant to this research was reported by Rowleyand Hart (1996). The video series "Becoming a Star Urban Teacher"(Rowley & Hart, 1995) used a video case method to encouragereflective practice among preservice, novice, and veteran teachers.Based on the characteristics of successful urban teachers, these tapesprovided a scenario that served as the basis for dialogue related to agiven teaching situation.

    The above review of literature would suggest that opportunitiesto view "best practice" strategies in a guided situation would increasethe preservice teachers ability to become a reflective practitioner.Presenting freshman practicum students with real educational issuesnot only enables them to examine their own beliefs about teachingbut also to view teaching from the perspective of the learner.

    Project ComponentsA list of segments to be taped was developed before the project

    began. The list was based on "best practice" issues covered in theseminar component of an introductory teaching course as presentedby Blair (1988) in Emerging Patterns of Teaching: From Methods toField Experiences. Instructional principles provided the framework forthe videotaped segments and included (a) cultivating student feelingand emotions, (b) maintaining effective classroom control, (c)establishing an appropriate balance between fostering direct learningand inquiry abilities, (d) maximizing the use of classroom time toteach students what they need to know, (e) diagnosing studentstrengths and weaknesses and providing instruction based on studentne