Video as a tool for reflective practice in implementing a representation construction approach to teaching science

Year: 2015

Author: Hubber, Peter, White, Peta, Tytler, Russell

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Advances in digital videography supported by innovations like high speed data transmission and video editing software have led to higher quality videos produced and edited by novice practitioners. Such advances have fostered a substantial increase in the use of video in teacher education and teacher professional development. Video can capture much of the complexity of classroom interactions which, when used in contexts that allow teachers time to reflect on these interactions, can provide powerful tools for teacher learning. However, for video to be effective for these purposes requires a targeted focus around particular purposes such as better understanding student interactions flowing from science inquiry pedagogies, and effects of strategies such as questioning and problem posing.

This paper reports on the development and refinement of a video system that allows high quality video of teachers and student groups to be captured and edited by teachers themselves for the purpose of reflective discussion supporting teacher learning. We will present analyses of video records of teachers refining a guided inquiry, representation-construction approach to teaching science, and a current study whereby a group of five Year 8 teachers used this video capture to implement and refine this approach within a 5-week lesson sequence in the topic of light and sound. The approach was developed and implemented in two recent ARC funded projects which successfully demonstrated enhanced outcomes for student learning, such as sustained engagement with ideas and quality learning. Additionally, this research has demonstrated teachers’ enhanced pedagogical knowledge. In enacting the approach the teachers will videotape several of their lessons to reflect on their practice and to prepare video clips to share among the other Year 8 teachers within a video club professional learning environment. This process is controlled by the teachers themselves.

The study aims to explore the efficacy of using classroom video captured and edited by the teachers as a tool for reflective practice in implementing an innovative and challenging approach to teaching science both at the personal level and within a video club environment. The research is framed within critical theory as the teachers are attempting to improve the quality of their educational practices. Self-study is used as the methodology that scaffolds the teachers’ reflective practices. The data include video captured and edited by the teachers, teacher interviews, audio recordings of video club meetings where members operate as critical friends in a community of practice, and online postings by teachers within a dedicated digital collaborative space.