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Journal of Teacher Education

Noticing Noticing: How Does Investigation of Video Records Change How Teachers Reflect on Their Experiences? Cheryl L. Rosaen, Mary Lundeberg, Marjorie Cooper, Anny Fritzen and Marjorie Terpstra Journal of Teacher Education 2008; 59; 347 DOI: 10.1177/0022487108322128 The online version of this article can be found at:

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Journal of Teacher Education Volume 59 Number 4 September/October 2008 347-360 © 2008 Sage Publications 10.1177/0022487108322128 hosted at

Noticing Noticing How Does Investigation of Video Records Change How Teachers Reflect on Their Experiences? Cheryl L. Rosaen Mary Lundeberg Marjorie Cooper Anny Fritzen Marjorie Terpstra Michigan State University

This study investigated the following question: To what extent and in what ways might using video help interns reflect on their discussion-based teaching in a more complex manner than when they use memory-based written reflection? Three elementary interns participated in the study. Findings suggest that video-supported reflection enabled interns to write more specific (vs. general) comments about their teaching than writing from memory, shift the content of the reflections from a focus on classroom management in memory-based reflections to a focus on instruction when video was available, and focus less on themselves and more on children when they reflected on video clips of their teaching. The power of video-based reflection to help interns revisit, notice, and investigate how they facilitate classroom discussions is considered. Keywords:


preservice teacher education; video; reflective practice; classroom discussion

ll we ever do is reflect!” is a typical refrain heard by those of us who teach interns and student teachers to write about their teaching. Indeed, “reflection” is such a common practice in teacher education that although our students may question its value, we rarely do (Fendler, 2003). Asking prospective teachers to write a reflection from memory after they have taught a lesson is a standard assignment intended to help preservice teachers learn from their teaching. The format of this reflection may be disputed, but the idea of learning from reflecting on one’s memory of teaching a lesson is rarely questioned. Since Dewey’s (1938) seminal writing on the complexity of learning from experience, teacher educators have wrestled with the challenge of encouraging preservice teachers to go beyond just having experiences to actually learning from them (Feiman-Nemser & Buchmann, 1985; Munby & Russell, 1994). Many teacher educators are exploring technology for its potential to help preservice

teachers learn from their experience in facilitating discussions (Calandra, Gurvitch, & Lund, 2008; Harford & MacRuairc, in press; Hess, 2004; Sherin, 2004; van Es & Sherin, 2002). However, although we may assume that reflections using video are superior to written or verbal reflections that rely solely on memory, this assumption is based largely on impressions rather than systematic inquiry. Thus, this study investigated the following question: To what extent and in what ways might using video help interns reflect on their discussion-based teaching in a more complex manner than when they use memory-based written reflection? This article discusses findings from an investigation of three preservice elementary intern teachers’ memory-based and video-based reflections on their facilitation of discussions. We begin with an explanation of how we conceptualize teacher change and why we chose classroom discussions as a site for studying preservice teacher learning. Next, we elaborate on our research questions and

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methodology. Then we report three major findings: Video-supported reflection helped interns to (a) write more specific (vs. general) comments about their teaching than writing from memory, (b) shift the content of the reflections from a focus on classroom management in memory-based reflections to a focus on instruction when video is available, and (c) focus less on themselves and more on children when they reflect on video clips of their teaching. Finally, we discuss the power of videobased reflection to help interns revisit, notice, and investigate how they facilitate classroom discussions, and we suggest directions for future research.

Theoretical Perspective Defining Teacher Change Teacher change is made possible when practitioners value uncertainties and disruptions as rich sites for learning and when they make connections between their experiences and practical knowledge (Britzman, 1991; Field & Latta, 2001). Dewey (1938) pointed out that participating in classroom life is not necessarily “educative” unless it is oriented to purpose and guided with curricular ends in view. Almost 50 years later, Paley (1986) noted that “real change comes about only through the painful recognition of one’s own vulnerability” (p. 123). Her influential study established the importance of that era’s technology—the tape recorder—in capturing vulnerability. More recently, Field and Latta (2001) argued that “the possibility of becoming more experienced arises only when something happens to us beyond what we anticipate” (p. 887). This study investigated whether reflection on facilitating classroom discussions with the aid of video is a better tool for creating the dissonance that fosters learning than reflection based on one’s memory of events. This research intersects with Kennedy’s (2005) study of the development of practicing teachers’ craft knowledge (e.g., concerns with lesson flow, content coverage, student learning). That study showed that even the use of nonevaluative questions to guide teachers in selecting video clips highlighting their “moment-to-moment” decisions produced mostly “evaluative judgments of their practices” (p. 209). Moreover, even when teachers were dissatisfied with their performances, “less than half of all such experiences lead to explicit statement of new ideas” (p. 212). Although our study focused on preservice teacher interns, Kennedy’s study is of interest because it focuses on teachers’ decisions about extraction of video clips of their teaching. Additionally, teacher change with respect to the facilitation of classroom discussions may broadly be understood as what Kennedy refers to as “craft.”

Van Es and Sherin (2002), who studied what preservice teachers learn to “notice” when they use video as a tool, concluded that teachers need to (a) learn to pay attention to what is important, (b) make connections between specific classroom interactions and the broader concepts and principles of teaching and learning they represent, and (c) use what they know about their own teaching context to reason about a given situation. Thus, what teachers notice and how they interpret classroom events are key aspects of teacher change.

Classroom Discussions as Key Sites for Studying Learning From Experience We selected classroom discussions as the context for studying teacher change for several reasons. Because discussions are a particularly complex aspect of teachers’ lived experience, they provide a rich site for studying whether teachers make an important transition from “having” experiences to learning from them (Feiman-Nemser & Buchmann, 1985; Munby & Russell, 1994). Moreover, many educators claim that highly interactive discussions that engage students in the production of knowledge can broaden and deepen students’ conceptual understandings in all disciplines (Applebee, Langer, Nystrand, & Gamoran, 2003; Palincsar, Anderson, & David, 1993). However, because the types of knowledge, ways of knowing, and types of texts vary by discipline, how productive interactive discussions are carried out in different subject matters may vary (Wells & Arauz, 2006). For instance, learning to engage in scientific inquiry through discussion and comprehension of informational texts entails examining alternative points of view, and frequently the goal for collaborative talk is to reach a consensus supported by solid argument and evidence (National Research Council, 2000; Osborne, Erduran, & Simon, 2004). By contrast, when discussing students’ response to literature, the goal is not necessarily to reach a conclusion by consensus but rather to understand the varied nature of literary interpretation by grappling with and constructing new understandings (Langer, 1995; Rosenblatt, 1938/1995). From their own schooling experiences (Lortie, 1975), novice teachers are familiar with an IRE discourse structure in science and English language arts—a three-part sequence where the teacher initiates a question, students respond to the question, and the teacher evaluates the response (Cazden, 1988). Shifting from a “one-size-fitsall” IRE discussion pattern to more open-ended discourse structures appropriate to particular subject matter contexts entails teachers learning how to recognize various kinds of discussions, how to use them effectively with their students, and how to teach their students to

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participate effectively (Hess, 2004). Although learning to facilitate interactive discussions is challenging, it is an important area of expertise that all teachers need to develop; thus, it is an important goal for supporting the learning of novice teachers.

The Promise of Video as a Tool for Analysis and Learning Given the complex dynamics of classroom discussions, it is difficult to document them for further analysis and reflection. Studying video records may shift interns’ attention from the exploration of vague perceptions about what transpired (Ball & Cohen, 1999) to a more complex and evidence-based analysis of whether and how classroom interaction in discussions promotes student learning in literacy and other content areas. Kennedy’s (2005) research on what teachers learn from viewing videotapes of their teaching found that many teachers seem to learn only from negative experiences. We investigated this matter further, following the arguments offered by several researchers (Borko, 2004; Mason, 2002; Sherin & van Es, 2005; van Es & Sherin, 2002) that explicit noticing is critical to change because if persons do not notice, they cannot choose to act differently. Clearly, research indicates that the use of video cases to study classroom interactions in preservice teacher education might lead to improved teaching practices and, in turn, has the potential to improve student achievement (Labbo, Kinzer, Leu, & Teal, 2004). Sherin (2004) argues that using video for developing an “analytic mind set” is developing “a different kind of knowledge for teaching—knowledge not of ‘what to do next,’ but rather, knowledge of how to interpret and reflect on classroom practices” (pp. 13-14). Putnam and Borko (2004) also remind us that because teachers’ patterns of thought and action become routine, they may need different types of experiences that “help teachers ‘break set’—to experience things in new ways” (p. 6). Some researchers have noted that video technology “affords the luxury of time” (Sherin, 2004, p. 13) and may help teachers examine their ability to facilitate discussions by slowing down the fast pace of classroom life so that explicit noticing of particular aspects of the discussion can be further analyzed (van Es & Sherin, 2002). Video excerpts can be reviewed several times with different foci and foster productive professional discussion among experienced teachers (Borko, Jacobs, Eiteljorg, & Pittman, 2008). In addition, video is being used increasingly to help preservice teachers learn to analyze examples of classroom teaching (Santagata, Zannoni, &

Stigler, 2007; Star & Strickland, 2008). Some studies illustrate the promise of helping preservice teachers analyze their own teaching (Calandra, Gurvitch, & Lund, 2008; Yerrick, Ross, & Molebash, 2005). Still, some scholars argue that what prospective teachers actually take away from video-based self-reflection needs further exploration (Grossman, 2005; Wang & Hartley, 2003). The same “slowing it down” capability of video technology facilitates what we notice as researchers. That is, interns’ video reflections provide windows through which we may view and understand teacher change. Based on data from 10 video club sessions with seven practicing elementary teachers, van Es (2008) developed a framework for understanding teachers’ development in learning to notice student thinking. The framework articulates what teachers notice (whom they focus on, what topics they discuss), how teachers reason (how they analyze video, how specific the ideas are), and how noticing proceeds along a developmental pathway (ranging from basic to extended). In this study, we were interested in pursuing similar aspects of preservice teacher change. To pursue our main research question, “To what extent and in what ways might using video help interns reflect on their discussionbased teaching in a more complex manner than when they use memory-based written reflection?” we asked four subsidiary questions: What is the nature of the observations interns make in each condition? How specific or general are their observations? What topics are mentioned and how frequently are they mentioned (e.g., classroom management, instruction)? What, specifically, do interns notice about each topic (e.g., about themselves, children, student achievement, teacher moves)? What do interns learn from writing a reflection based on memory or video? Are they taking an analytical or evaluative stance toward their teaching, or are they mostly describing what happened? Do they have any important insights about their teaching?

Research Method Revising the Original Research Design After earning a baccalaureate degree at a Midwestern university, interns participate in a year-long internship while taking two master’s courses per semester to earn teacher certification. In our original research design, we planned to recruit 20 interns (10 elementary majors, 5 secondary English majors, 5 secondary science majors) and to ask the interns to teach, videotape, and reflect on

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two lessons per semester. According to our plan, elementary majors would focus on science lessons (fall) and literacy lessons (spring), which corresponded to the subject matter emphasis in their fall and spring courses. Secondary interns would focus on either English or science, according to their major. Using a withinsubjects design, we planned to compare the level of analysis among 20 interns’ reflections, counterbalancing video-based reflections with memory-based reflections, and to determine whether there were interesting contrasts in how interns conducted and reflected on discussions in the two subject matter contexts. However, because of unavoidable delays in obtaining permission from the school district where interns taught, we were unable to recruit participants until the second half of their internship, when teaching commitments made participation in the study challenging. Through e-mail and follow-up phone conversations, we invited 17 elementary majors, 8 secondary science majors, and 7 English majors to participate.1 Initially, 6 elementary interns and 3 secondary science interns volunteered to participate in the study and they were asked to teach, videotape, and reflect on two lessons. Because of time constraints, we gave elementary interns a choice regarding which lessons they would videotape and which subject matters they would feature. However, after completing the initial interview (discussed later), only 3 elementary majors felt they had time to complete the remaining research activities amid the multiple demands of their internship. These 3 interns were representative of elementary interns in the program in that they are Caucasian, middle-class females and were approximately 22 years old at the time of the study. They were strong academically and motivated to improve their practice, as is typical of students who elect to do a 5th-year internship. We decided to proceed with data collection despite the small number of participants because these three interns were representative of the larger elementary intern population, and the results of the study could provide opportunities to look closely at their experiences and perceptions as well as pose questions for future research.

Participants and Setting At the time of the study, the three interns were engaged in the second half of their internship where they taught 5 days per week for 8 weeks. Allie taught first grade in an urban school where she was trying out a new approach— using a story dictated by a student in the class to discuss possible ways to edit it. Both videotaped lessons she chose to include in the study focused on editing a piece of writing. Kim taught first grade in a suburban school

where she videotaped herself teaching a literature-based lesson featuring the use of the children’s own questioning while reading, and a science lesson discussing whether a substance—oobleck—is considered to be a liquid or a solid. Martha taught third grade in a suburban school. One video-taped lesson featured a discussion of what can be learned about the beliefs and values of a culture or region by reading a fairy tale. Her videotaped science lesson was not included in the study because of technical problems.

Data Sources Initially, the interns were interviewed for approximately 30-45 minutes, at which time we probed their beliefs about the role of discussion-based teaching in literacy and science to understand what they think discussion in particular subject matter contexts entails and their current experiences with facilitating discussions. Interns then led and videotaped two classroom discussions and emailed reflections about the lesson (without the aid of video) to the research team. Because it is common in our teacher preparation program to ask interns to write reflections about their teaching, the three interns were accustomed to doing a task such as this. No specific prompts were given to guide the focus of analysis or to indicate how specific or general their comments should be. Next, interns reviewed a videotape of their entire lesson, used a multimedia editor to select excerpts for analysis, and provided written commentary on the excerpts. As with the memory-based reflection, no specific prompts or guidelines for general or specific comments were given. The open-ended tasks allowed us to examine what the interns noticed on their own in each condition.2 Finally, the interns were interviewed and asked to explain their choice of video excerpts and the value they place on using video to reflect on their teaching as compared to basing reflections on memory only. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed.

Data Analysis A cross-case analysis was used, comparing data from interns’ reflections written immediately after the teaching of their lessons with video-supported written commentaries where interns explained their reasoning for selecting particular video excerpts. Transcripts of interviews were used to gain insights into how interns perceived their teaching and whether they value the two types of reflective activities. Subdividing reflections in chunks and segments. The reflections based on memory were typically written in

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paragraph form where interns described what happened, shared impressions, and made comments about what stood out to them in the lesson. The reflections based on video excerpts were written either as separate paragraphs in complete sentences or were notes and ideas jotted down without attention to paragraph and sentence structure. All texts were subdivided into smaller sections for coding purposes. A “chunk” represented a section of prose that was centered around one idea or topic (Jacobs & Morita, 2002; van Es, 2008). For example, the following passage was considered a chunk: “I liked how I asked Jordan if he had an idea. I was trying to follow through with the thought that everyone needed to have an idea and keeping the students accountable.” The intern referred to a specific instance and then elaborated on the same topic. Across all 10 reflections, there were slightly more chunks in the video reflections (46) than there were in the memory reflections (44). Chunks were further subdivided into “segments” that represented a specific, bounded thought, which allowed for more specific coding and more detailed analysis. For example, the chunk referred to earlier was subdivided into two segments: (1) “I liked how I asked Jordan if he had an idea” and (2) “I was trying to follow through with the thought that everyone needed to have an idea and keeping the students accountable.” Across the 10 reflections, there were slightly more segments in the memory condition (143) than in the video condition (136). We discuss in more detail later how these two ways of subdividing the texts facilitated the coding process. Developing coding categories. The four-member research team read each intern’s reflections several times and worked together to identify initial categories. These were later refined and relationships among them were articulated. Then two members of the research team coded the reflections independently. Any differences between the two coders were discussed and resolved through consensus until 94% interrater reliability was established during independent coding. Any remaining differences were discussed by the research team until a consensus was reached. Two main codes emerged in relation to the nature of the observations interns made in each condition. A comment was considered to be general if it was a global observation or referred to a general idea, concept, theory, or principle. For instance, Martha commented, “Overall, I feel that the discussion went okay.” A comment was considered to be specific if it referred to a particular moment in the lesson or a specific child, or if the intern discussed a pattern or grounded a comment in a specific theory. For example, Allie said, “I also noticed how we would get stuck on one suggestion about editing the text.”

To further develop our analysis, we looked at the topics interns mentioned, their frequency, and what specifically they noticed about each topic. Table 1 provides definitions of the 7 codes that emerged and examples that illustrate each code. For instance, we noticed that interns focused on classroom management when reflecting on lessons from memory. We asked if the same focus occurred using videotape and found that there were more statements focused on their instruction. Because of the prevalence of these two broad categories—management and instruction—they became major organizers for looking more specifically at which details about these two categories the interns noticed. Comments related to classroom management focused on two main subtopics: self or the children. Comments related to instruction discussed three main subtopics: self, children, or teacher moves (listening, probing). When speaking of children, interns sometimes referred specifically to student achievement, and at other times their comments were about how their instruction affected children on a more general level. Table 2 shows how the two main codes—management and instruction— are related to the other five codes. Finally, we looked at what interns learned from writing a reflection. We examined whether they took an analytical or evaluative stance versus only describing what happened (van Es, 2008). As noted earlier, the notion of stance is relevant to the study because an “analytic mindset” enables consideration of multiple options without needing to decide on specific actions in the moment of teaching and thus promotes “knowledge of how to interpret and reflect on classroom practices” (Sherin, 2004, pp. 13-14). Ideas were coded as insights about either management or instruction when interns made statements that showed they gained a new understanding about their own or their students’ actions during their lesson, or new ideas about how they might think or act in future lessons. For instance, in relation to instruction, Allie realized that she needed to be clearer about her instructional objectives as children edit text to keep the flow of discussion going and concluded, “Therefore, I need to realize when to provide instruction and direction during a discussion to keep it moving.” This insight helped her distinguish between moments in a discussion when she could encourage further student input (regardless of whether it was correct) versus moments when direct instruction about options for correct use of punctuation would help the discussion progress. Martha interpreted and reflected on how her management influenced learning opportunities, “Again, having to stop and remind students to stop blurting and to focus (basically just addressing behavioral issues) really took away from a large amount of learning time.”

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Table 1 Definition and Examples of Codes Coding Category Focus on self—management Focus on self—instruction

Focus on children—management

Focus on children—instruction

Student achievement



Managing behavior, teacher’s role in organizing for a smooth flow to the lesson Instructional strategy that facilitates the cognitive and social interaction around the goals of the lesson; focuses on the teacher’s role Managing behavior, organizing for a smooth flow to the lesson; focuses on the children’s behavior or attitudes Instructional strategy that facilitates the cognitive and social interaction around the goals of the lesson; focuses on how the children responded to the instruction Intern indicates attention to student learning and achievement; intern assesses student learning

Kim: “I wanted them to raise their hand tell the class.” Allie: “I need to be more clear in my objectives.”

Teacher move—listening

Intern gains insights by listening to what the students say

Teacher move—probing

Intern seeks to gain insights into student understanding and pushes students to deeper understanding by probing them to explain their answers and think more deeply

Table 2 Relationship Among Codes

Management Instruction





Teacher Teacher Student Move— Move— Achievement Listening Probing X



Assigning codes to chunks and segments. A numerical value (1) was assigned each time a chunk or segment was given a code. The categories “specific observation” and “general observation” were coded by chunks rather than segments because we wanted to get a more global sense of the intern’s stance. In a few cases, a chunk was marked both “specific observation” and “general observation” when the intern offered both types of reflection within a chunk. For example, in the following chunk the intern made a general observation, “Hands-on lessons with materials like this are often difficult to manage and

Martha: “And behavior is a huge problem for these students.” Allie: “For example, I am specifically thinking of the time when some students thought a period should go in a place.” Martha: “Looking over these they actually did fairly well, but there were still some students that they did not grasp the concepts.” Allie: “I was really impressed with them. They had . . . they were so mature and the responses they had were just great. They were right on task. I wrote down some specific things that they said that were like, one student said, ‘Can I add to that?’ or ‘I don’t agree with that and here’s why’ and I felt like they were really mature. They had a lot of skills that are especially rare to see in first graders.” Allie: “I like how I said things like, ‘What do you mean by that?’ Or, ‘Would you like to put that in your own words?’”

get through” and followed up with a specific observation about the lesson, “I am amazed at what a great job they did with it” (Kim, Video 2). The remaining categories were coded by segments. Most segments received two or three codes as multiple categories frequently applied to a given segment. Frequently, the multiple coding occurred in the instruction and management categories because the intern often commented on issues that involved the interplay of management with instruction. For example, one of the interns explained, “I wanted them to raise their hand and tell the class.” In this statement, she was referring to a management technique for facilitating classroom discussions and how her management directly contributed to their sharing of ideas during the discussion. In the video condition, 76 segments received two or three codes, 21 segments received only one code, and the remaining segments received four, five, or six codes. In the memory condition, 83 segments received two or three codes, 36 received only one code, and the remaining segments received four,

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five, or six codes. Although not all segments were doublecoded, the analysis process revealed that the codes are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they reflect the many types of connections interns made while reflecting on a given lesson (e.g., understanding that management decisions influence learning opportunities). The analysis process also suggests that learning to reflect on classroom discussions is a complex undertaking that requires paying attention to multiple aspects of teaching and learning. Investigating patterns in the written reflections. Percentages of the frequency of codes were calculated on Excel by dividing the number of times each category was indicated by the total number of segments in the applicable condition (video or memory). Although these figures provide a helpful lens for pointing to patterns and for understanding the relative frequency of each category, they cannot be considered precise numerical representations of the data because many segments were coded multiple times. The frequency with which each category appeared in the video condition was compared with the memory condition. Interviews. Transcribed interviews were reviewed to gain access to interns’ thinking about their experiences reflecting on their teaching and to find out which condition they valued more and why. We also used the interviews for triangulation purposes. For instance, we looked for whether interns’ comments about their own learning during interviews matched ideas in their written reflections that we coded as “insights.”

Results: Learning to Learn From Experience Noticing Specifics About Instruction and Children With Video There were three main differences in the video-based versus memory-based reflection. First, interns tended to make more specific observations in the video condition. Second, interns discussed instructional elements of their teaching more than behavior management when using video. Third, in the video condition interns paid more attention to the children in terms of instruction, student achievement, and listening to the students, thus moving the focus away from self and onto the children. First, we present results of our analysis for all three interns (see the Appendix). Then, to provide a more comprehensive view of the changes the interns experienced, we discuss Kim’s two lessons and how she reflected on them in each condition. Following Dyson (1997), we discuss one focal

participant as a means of offering a situated view of how an individual interprets and makes sense of her experience. We feature Kim because she was the only intern who wrote reflections on lessons in both science and literacy, and her experiences are similar to those of the other two interns. Nature of the observations: Specific versus general. What kinds of observations did the interns make about their classroom teaching? In the video condition, interns made more specific observations than in the written condition (35.3% vs. 26.6%). In the video condition, interns referred to specific children, calling them by name, whereas in the memory condition, this happened only one time. Moreover, interns were far less likely (2.9% vs. 18.9%) to make vague, general comments in their video reflections than when prompted only by memory. Broad topics discussed: Instruction versus management. Interns made more general statements about instruction (21%) than about management (11.9%) when reflecting from memory. However, the contrast between the number of statements about instruction (29.4%) versus management (4.4%) is greater with the use of video, showing a shift in overall attention to instruction. Interns’ comments that focused on themselves in relation to instruction increased from 43.4% in the memory condition to 61.8% with video. Comments about children in relation to instruction increased from 36.4% in the memory condition to 53.7% with video. These trends indicate that interns increased their attention to particular aspects of instruction with video. Not only did the amount of instructional insights increase in the video condition, but the insights were more specific and focused on the children. In the memory condition, interns expressed similar types of concerns about pedagogical moves they could have made. However, instead of being grounded in particular moments from the lesson, the comments in the memory-based reflections were largely based on feelings and impressions. In contrast, the amount of comments stayed about the same under both conditions when interns wrote about self in relation to management (15.4% with memory vs. 14.7% with video) and children in relation to management (19.6% with memory vs. 22.1% with video). Specific topics discussed: More focus on children. Three categories reveal particular attention to children’s learning: focus on children—instruction, student achievement, and listening. Comments about instruction focused on children increased in the video condition (53.7%) compared with the memory condition (36.4%). Comments about student achievement increased from 13.3% in the memory condition to 25.7% in the video condition.

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There was also an increase in comments about listening to students from 11.9% in the memory condition to 19.9% in the video condition. These trends indicate that video may afford opportunities to look more closely at the content of the lesson than reflecting from memory. By contrast, changes in comments about probing students’ thinking showed smaller gains (2.1% to 4.4%). This may indicate an area in which interns need to grow. Consistent with the other findings, references to children tended to be more specific and grounded in evidence with videobased reflections than with memory-based reflections. What interns valued: Personal connections, evidence, and new perspectives. Thus far, we have seen that interns’ video-based reflections were more specific, more complex, and more focused on instruction and children than their memory-based reflections. Interviews with the interns provided information regarding what they valued about each form of reflection. All three participants rated reflection and analysis of their practice based on video records as being more accurate and useful than written reflection based solely on memory. Allie was the most vigorous proponent of video reflection as a superior tool to written reflection because it provides concrete evidence. She explained, “When I’ve seen the video, I realized that my written response isn’t as valid as I thought it was. I’ve written things that aren’t necessarily true when I watched the video . . . it’s [memory-based reflection] just more of a feeling. The video gives me evidence to look at my teaching.” For instance, in her memory-based reflection Allie commented, “During this discussion I think that I wasn’t very calm and professional. I think I acted more rushed and stressed again and I think this was because I was focusing too much on keeping the flow of the discussion moving.” However, she noted after viewing the video, “I felt in the written response that I was rushed, stressed—and then in the video response, I noticed that I was more calm than I thought I was. And, um . . . the written response isn’t very specific and all and the video response is very specific” (Final Interview). Martha and Kim also appreciated the strong benefits of video-based reflection for similar reasons. For example, the sense that video provides a more tangible view of their teaching is revealed in the following comment from Martha: “I think it was good to actually see things in the physical aspect . . . in the visualization as proof it was there and you’re not just going over your memory.” Clearly, these three interns found that video-supported reflection was more powerful in focusing on instruction than reflections based solely on memory.

Kim’s Experiences With Memory-Based and Video-Based Reflection To get a fuller view of changes in written reflections in the two conditions, we now focus on Kim’s experience. We feature examples of how Kim’s reflections changed to become more specific and more focused on instruction and children. Kim’s literacy and science lessons. Kim’s language arts lesson was part of a unit that featured the teaching of reading comprehension strategies during read-alouds. The lesson focused on the “asking questions” strategy based on Raphael’s (1984) research. She introduced the lesson by reminding the children that “good readers ask questions before, during and after the story.” She explained that she would begin reading the book An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant but would stop and write down student questions as they emerged. The first question she fielded was from a boy who complained that repeated pauses (to write down questions) spoiled the story. Although acknowledging his complaint, Kim followed her lesson according to plan and proceeded to elicit and record questions. About midway through the lesson the children shared ideas with partners. She stopped the lesson halfway through the story because the number of questions became cumbersome and slowed the pace. Kim’s second lesson was part of a unit on states of matter and included a demonstration and discussion of the colloid “oobleck” (a combination of cornstarch and water that possesses traits of both a solid and a liquid). This lesson was located in the tradition of hands-on, inquiry-based science instruction. It demonstrates how developing the literacy skill of discussion is fundamental to learning across the curriculum. Steele (1998), for example, discussed the value of speech as a means by which learners attach meaning to concepts, thereby constructing knowledge. Kim had students sit on a rug in a circle, a departure from her typical arrangement of having students sit at their desks. First, she showed the students the substance and asked them to determine whether it is a solid or a liquid. The oobleck piqued the students’ curiosity and they participated actively in the discussion. As the children proposed ideas, Kim encouraged them to explain the reasoning behind their assertions and to use scientific language. After the discussion, Kim allowed the children to touch the oobleck themselves. Nature of Kim’s observations: Specific versus general. In her memory-based reflection about her science lesson Kim made the following generalization: “I am really surprised at how well the children conducted

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themselves for the lesson” (Written Reflection 2). Kim noticed something significant about a possible relationship between the nature of the lesson and student behavior. However, she did not provide supporting evidence for her statement or go beyond this general reference. In contrast, in her video-supported reflection Kim made a specific reference to an individual student, “He did not necessarily know how to say it was both [a liquid and a solid] because up until this point we have always talked about a liquid being only a liquid and a solid being only a solid.” Video allowed Kim to pay close attention to this student’s talk and use that to assess his understanding. She made similar specific references in her literaturebased lesson. We noted that phrases such as “I think . . . ,” “I feel . . . ,” or “I guess . . .” were common in the memory-based reflection, pointing to the element of uncertainty that seems inherent in relying on memory. Interns seemed to recognize that their reflections were based on impressions, which may or may not be completely accurate. For instance, in her memory-based reflection about the science lesson Kim said, “I think the children did a great job being able to reiterate the vocabulary we have learned.” The following example illustrates how video facilitated more focused and detailed engagement with the lesson. Kim wrote, In this clip, I had the children tell me about what they talked about yesterday when I was not there for science. This was important because it brought our minds back to the idea of properties of solids and liquids. It refreshed their minds to some of the terms like transparent, opaque, definite shape and color that would play a part in the lesson we were going to do. (Video Reflection 2)

Kim referenced the content of the lesson, the children’s responses to her teaching, and the instructional purpose of the teaching moment under analysis. Broad topics discussed: Instruction versus management. As discussed earlier, interns’ comments moved from general statements in memory-based reflections to more grounded statements describing how specific moments from the lesson were consistent with instructional goals. For instance, Kim made a general statement about her reading lesson in her memory-based reflection, “Discussions are a difficult thing to manage.” A comment like this seems less likely to promote change in specific practices than her comment from her videobased reflection where she wrote, “In thinking that this lesson is supposed to be discussion based, I just shut out the discussion with that comment. If I would have let the children say their comments and try to answer the questions when they are asked, it would more accurately

depict a discussion.” Here she is referring to her plan to write down questions children asked while they were reading but not to answer them until the end of the book. Kim honed in on a particular moment in the lesson and evaluated her performance while focusing on her interactions with the children. Rather than just sensing a general frustration, she was able to see how her imposed structure interacted with her instructional goals. Kim’s reflections shifted from emphasizing management issues to an increased focus on instruction. For example, in the memory-based commentary Kim reflected on her decision to have the students sit in a circle, a management move, whereas in the video reflection she did not mention the seating arrangement. Instead the video refreshed her memory of a number of instructional moves she made. She isolated a clip that highlighted her use of the strategy of accessing prior knowledge and another clip that showed how she listened carefully to students’ answers. Moreover, she used video replay to show how the strategy of probing students’ answers allowed her to focus on their growing understanding. None of these instructional insights was present in the written condition, where she made general comments such as, “They were able to maintain a lot of self-control.” She also commented on how the students responded to seeing the substance they were investigating, and her surprise that the experiment was messier than she had anticipated. By contrast, in the video condition, she expanded on her more general observation. She said, “It [oobleck] sparked interesting dialogue with the children about what it could be specifically.” She then noted her interaction with one child and how she probed for more detail, which in turn allowed her to have a better understanding of the child’s achievement. Specific topics discussed: More focus on children. Kim’s references to children tended to be more specific and grounded in evidence with video-based reflection than those in the memory-based reflection. For example, as part of her reading lesson, Kim prompted the children to ask questions based on the story they were reading. To her surprise, the children offered numerous questions, which proved to be disruptive to their discussion of the story. In her memory-based reflection Kim wrote, “One thing I noticed was that the children had a lot of questions initially about the book. I did not anticipate so many. It made it difficult to get through the entire book in one lesson because they got restless.” After reviewing the video of her lesson, Kim analyzed more closely how the discussion influenced students’ thinking and explained, “While you’re stopping the story for the writing of the questions, the other kids might forget what they were going to say and that was brought up by one child at the beginning of

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the lesson . . . which they’ve never said that before . . . they said, ‘I don’t like when you stop reading because I forget what I was going to say’” (Final Interview). Kim wrote in her video-based reflection, “I never thought about it being annoying or frustrating for the children when we read stories together with the comprehension strategy of questioning, that stopping to record a question would possibly hinder them and their thinking about what was happening or what they were going to say.” The video analysis helped Kim be more aware of how the children were actually experiencing the lesson rather than simply noticing that they had more questions than she had anticipated. The video analysis pushed Kim to question whether the way she implemented her strategy may have worked counter to her goals for student learning. To summarize the interns’ overall evaluation of video versus memory reflection, perhaps Kim said it best, “So, it kind of depends on what you’re targeting . . . your thinking [memory reflection], or how (what you are doing) is influencing the children [video reflection].”

The Promise of Video Investigation to Support Learning to Conduct Discussions We now return to our earlier argument that highly interactive discussions that engage students in the production of knowledge can broaden and deepen students’ conceptual understanding in all disciplines (Applebee et al., 2003; Palincsar et al., 1993). From a sociocultural perspective, social activity provides support and assistance for learning (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988; Vygotsky, 1978, 1986). Although we acknowledged earlier that there are contrasting purposes and goals for engaging in discussions in English language arts and science, English and science educators share a common goal of replacing the pattern of asking students to recite answers to questions focused on discrete facts and skills with a pattern of constructing meaning collaboratively through a dialogic model that promotes analysis, reflection, and critical thinking. Facilitating interactive discussion requires paying attention to instructional elements, such as the content and focus for the lesson, as well as conversational elements, such as how questions are posed, how student responses are treated, how connections across comments are made, and whether the overall atmosphere in the classroom invites discussion (Goldenberg, 1992). For example, if the goal is to develop literary knowledge, teachers must help students develop literary concepts and the language to talk about them (Langer, 1995). When facilitating discussions in science, teachers must

keep different stages of a discussion in mind. At first, information is collected (opening up a problem, exploring and probing students’ views, introducing and developing scientific theory), followed by comparing and contrasting ideas and scientific points of view (Scott & Mortimer, 2006). What is it in particular about video analysis that has the potential to help interns learn to pay attention to different aspects of discussion-based teaching in different subject matter contexts? Our findings show that by using video, interns were more able to notice, revisit, and investigate the interactive aspects of their discussions in terms of their own and their students’ participation, and pay closer attention to how those interactions affect conceptual understanding. Moreover, by reviewing their videos, the interns used noticing, revisiting, and investigating to unpack some of the complexity of discussion-based teaching and to embrace the dissonance that was created (Field & Latta, 2001; Paley 1986). In the following subsections we highlight the ways using video records interrupted the expected, helped all three interns question things they previously had taken for granted, and positioned them to grow and change. Using video to investigate social interaction in the classroom. When they talked about their plans for the videotaped lessons, all three interns said they thought students would benefit from hearing others’ ideas during the discussion; the interns viewed the interactions as a way to tap into children’s thinking. Martha wanted her students to understand that fairy tales allow the reader to learn about the beliefs and values of a culture or region and therefore planned to ask “comparing questions” to promote sharing of ideas, “and then other students who might not be engaged at the beginning will realize that this concept is something that they too can grasp.” Allie wanted her students to “learn more about revising and editing a text after listening to the suggestions given by their peers.” Kim reasoned that during the science discussion children “will verbalize their reasoning and thinking and share insight to their classmates” and explained further, “I hope to find out what the children have learned about the properties of solids and liquids with this discussion. Key ideas that I hope come up or that the children can address are fluidity, viscous, transparent, opaque, definite shape, etc. . . . I will also know that they have learned and are gaining insight based on their questions and feedback to one another and to me.” Earlier we cited research that documents the potential of video in helping novices make connections between specific classroom interactions and broader concepts and

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principles of teaching and learning (van Es & Sherin, 2002). In our study, video became a tool for the interns to make note of and ponder discrepancies and, in some cases, affirm theory to practice connections. To illustrate, during her reading comprehension lesson, Kim’s attention was drawn to a disconnect between her theory that a good discussion involved a dialogic interplay among students and the practice she engaged in to scaffold students’ understanding of a questioning strategy. During the lesson she asked a question of one child and when another child started to answer it, she said, “Remember we are not answering these yet, we will do that later.” Seeing this incident replayed in the video prompted the insight discussed earlier, that she “shut out the discussion with that comment.” Moreover, she thought of another way she could approach student questions: “If I were going to do it again to go ahead and answer it and ask them ‘What are you all thinking could be an answer?’ for that individual question and then move on to a different question” (Final Interview). Here we see that Kim continued to challenge the strategy she was taught in ways that pushed her to construct her personal knowledge of teaching. The fact that she was interested at that point in trying something new—based on her own video analysis— shows that she was not merely having experiences (Munby & Russell, 1994) of discussion-centered teaching but learning from them. Martha, by contrast, affirmed her practice–theory connection through video analysis. In Martha’s memorybased reflection she referred to her belief in “wait time” and the way her instructional strategies either facilitated or blocked children’s responses: “But I still feel I could do a lot better at waiting longer before I talked so that students would be more likely to respond.” Using the revisiting capacity of video, Martha noticed: “I was just about to give this answer away but this [video evidence] proves that when I waited the students had many more ideas.” Here we see that dissonance that promotes learning does not need to be negative; it just needs to interrupt the expected (Field & Latta, 2001). This example offers some challenge to Kennedy’s (2002, 2005) findings that many teachers seem only to learn from negative experiences. Using video to examine how interactions affect conceptual understanding. The interns’ work with video allowed them to think about how classroom interactions affect students’ conceptual understandings. For example, during the video review of her lesson Allie noticed instances where she listened to her first graders and probed their answers to encourage more detail in editing a piece of writing. Her purpose in listening and probing

was to understand their thinking. She explained, “I like how I said things like, ‘What do you mean by that?’ Or, ‘would you like to put that in your own words?’” This form of noticing enabled her to recognize her use of teacher moves that would enhance her instruction and help her work toward promoting student learning. Allie also noticed student actions that she thought contributed to the discussion. She commented, “I thought it was great that one of my students said ‘Can I add to that?’” and in doing so pointed out how students, as well as the teacher, can help move discussions along in substantive ways. In addition, Allie revisited particular moments in her lessons and made plans for future teaching based on that new knowledge. For instance, after hearing one child give an incorrect response, Allie realized “now that I saw the video” that she should have addressed the misunderstanding and noted how she could address that in the future. She also caught behavior that went unnoticed in the act of teaching: “2 students [were] totally consumed in something else, [I] should have actually asked them a question.” In the 11 segments of Allie’s video commentary, she quoted herself twice and quoted students’ actual words four times. By having an audio record of their own and their students’ words, interns could “make a case” regarding some aspect of their teaching and back up their assertions with evidence. Kim’s focus on students’ conceptual knowledge in the science lesson was clear in the video-based commentary. She noted, “Throughout the lesson I can really see that they know and understand the content and terminology from our science unit. I am really surprised listening through the lesson again just how observant and specific the children are being.” Martha’s video comments seemed to serve as “points to ponder” students’ understanding. She said, for example, “[The] student [is] using his prior knowledge about culture—but is it the correct knowledge?” In addition, Martha noticed how her own questioning of a student’s response caused him to ponder and raise his hand again when she wrote, “Asking why forced the student to prove that he knew what he was talking about—after he thought about it, he re-raised his hand.”

Conclusion Throughout this article we have shown how the use of video to reflect on teaching slows performance down and thus facilitates specific and detailed noticing—or what others have called explicit noticing. As van Es and Sherin (2002) found, teacher change is promoted when teachers

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pay attention to what is important, make theory to practice connections, and use what they know about their own teaching context to reason about a given situation. Our findings build on these notions and go further to illuminate how video offers unique opportunities for promoting teacher growth in the context of learning to conduct interactive classroom discussions. The “slowingdown” effect allows continual replay, which enables the intern to capture what was missed the first time either orally or visually. Moreover, the technology not only slows but allows moments to be frozen in time through the isolation of specific clips that can be extracted from the whole lesson for further analysis. These functions of video have a compelling effect: The dissonance created between what interns recall from memory and what they see on close analysis is hard to ignore. Dissonance does not need to be negative to lead to learning; it just needs to jar complacency. Although our findings point toward the promise of using video to help novices learn to analyze their practice, we acknowledge that generalizations cannot be made based on three stories of change. Rather, these stories raise important questions that require additional research with a larger number of interns. An important next step is to investigate more specifically how interns understand specific practices associated with a dialogic model of teaching that promotes analysis, reflection, and critical thinking in different subject matter contexts. Following recent research approaches (Calandra et al., 2008; Harford &

MacRuairc, in press; Yerrick et al., 2005), studying how interns use video to examine their facilitation of classroom discussions could be built into their ongoing course work and thus enable examination of what is possible to achieve in the context of a large teacher preparation program. It is also important to investigate whether and how interns are able to use insights gained from video analysis to improve their practice. Areas of investigation could include whether they can recognize various kinds of discussions in different subject matter contexts and improve their ability to support, analyze and assess K-12 students’ learning through discussion.

Notes 1. These interns were selected by asking for recommendations from course and field instructors of interns who were progressing as expected in their internship at that time of year. We did not want to make requests to complete research tasks of interns who were having trouble coping with the regular demands of the internship. 2. As noted earlier, our original design called for counterbalancing video-based reflections with memory-based reflections by having half the interns write reflections from memory first, followed by video reflection, and having half the interns do the opposite. However, because of the limited number of participants and shorter time frame for engaging interns in the tasks, we decided to use the video-based task second so we could see the contribution of using video versus the typical practice of asking interns to reflect from memory. Although we were able to keep the open-ended task consistent across the two conditions, memory-based reflections always preceded the video reflections.

Appendix Summary of Coded Segments

General observation Specific observation Insight—management Focus on self—management Focus on children—management Insight—instruction Focus on self—instruction Focus on children—instruction Student achievement Teacher move: listening Teacher move: probing

Number of Memory Segments Out of 143

Percent of Total Memory Segments

27 38 17 22 28 30 62 52 19 17 3

18.9 26.6 11.9 15.4 19.6 21.0 43.4 36.4 13.3 11.9 2.1

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Number of Video Segments Out of 136 4 48 6 20 30 40 84 73 35 27 6

Percent of Total Video Segments 2.9 35.3 4.4 14.7 22.1 29.4 61.8 53.7 25.7 19.9 4.4

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Cheryl L. Rosaen is a professor of teacher education at Michigan State University and a faculty team leader in a 5year teacher preparation program. She teaches courses in literacy methods and teacher education. As a principal investigator for the MSU Literacy Achievement Research Center, she conducts research on learning to teach literacy and the role technology can play in supporting teacher learning. Mary Lundeberg is a professor in the Teacher Education and Educational Psychology Departments at Michigan State University, and is a principal investigator for the MSU Literacy Achievement Research Center. Her research interests include problem-based pedagogy in teacher education and science, interactive multimedia learning environments, scientific literacy, and cultural and gender influences in confidence.

Marjorie Cooper is a PhD candidate in curriculum, teaching, and education policy at Michigan State University. Her research interests include critical literacy, social justice teacher preparation, and the intersections of race, spirituality, and social justice world views in preservice teacher candidates. She is interested in the affordances of video case construction in promoting critical pedagogy. Anny Fritzen is a PhD student in curriculum, teaching, and educational policy at Michigan State University. Her research interests include second/foreign language pedagogy and the mediation of field experiences for preservice teachers. Marjorie Terpstra is a PhD candidate in curriculum, teaching and education policy at Michigan State University. She is currently researching what preservice teachers need to know to teach subject matter with technology and the influences on their learning, as well as which theories explain preservice teachers’ knowledge and expertise.

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Video and teachers reflect  
Video and teachers reflect