American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting
Theme: Leveraging Educational Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence
April 5-9, 2019
Title: Studying the Elements of a Video-Based Professional Development Design (Poster)
Session: Advancing the Knowledge Base to Improve Teaching: Generating a Design Framework for Video-Based Activity Systems
Authors: Tara Barnhart, Elizabeth van Es
Abstract: Using video to support teacher development has become increasingly common (Author, under review; Gaudin & Chaliès, 2015). This study describes the design of a video-based professional development with in-service secondary science teachers. The design was intended to cultivate teachers’ noticing practices and develop a professional vision of ambitious science instruction to improve practice. Specifically, we sought to develop teachers’ critical discourse practices for attending to and reasoning about student ideas.
Drawing on Sandoval (2014), we theorized that engagement with key elements of the video-based activity system would elicit particular learning: (a.) Analysis of published then personal artifacts with high windows and depth (Author, 2009b), (b) Use of framing activities, such as constructing ideal responses to the problem featured in the video and developing an evidence-based explanation rubric; and (c.) Facilitation practices to prime, focus, and maintain participants’ attention on student reasoning. These elements did not function as discrete parts of the design but as interconnected elements of a learning ecology (Cobb, Confrey, diSessa, & Schauble, 2003). To understand how these elements “function together to support learning” (Cobb et al., 2003, p. 9) we were explicit about how the theorized elements should interact to produce the learning results described above.
Data collection and analysis was largely qualitative in nature. Transcripts of five video club meetings were segmented into idea units by artifact. Each idea unit was analyzed for the types and frequency of facilitation moves used (Author, 2014), references to the framing activities, and the nature of professional discourse. Analytic memos examined the function of the elements for achieving a critical, collaborative discourse focused on student reasoning.
Analysis revealed that each design element shifted over the course of the professional development sequence to achieve the goals of the professional development. For example, high-quality, published clips supported development of a vision early in the video club; in later meetings video clips from participants’ own classrooms offered opportunities to problematize challenges with enacting ambitious science instruction. In addition, facilitation practices shifted over time, from supporting the group’s development as a community to engaging in evidence-based reasoning with support from a structured rubric. Sustained bouts of critical analysis of the students’ science reasoning in the artifacts in later meetings was supported by the participants’ development of the evidence-based reasoning rubric and the taking up of the discourse norms modeled in earlier meetings. This was true even when the quality of the artifacts used in later meetings decreased.
Recognizing that video is situated inside an activity system this study shows that though recommendations in the literature for facilitation, artifacts, and supporting tools are often presented as static they are, in fact, dynamic and influence each other as participants learn and change. Designers of video-based professional development must consider the overarching goals of the PD but also the needs and assets of participants and affordances of each component of the learning ecology during various phases of PD.