The Use of Video as a Tool for Building Reflective Educators

The Use of Video as a Tool for Building Reflective Educators

Robert John Ceglie (Queens University of Charlotte, USA) and Dixie F. Abernathy (Queens University of Charlotte, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2132-8.ch009

Abstract

Providing opportunities for novice and veteran teachers to reflect and asses their instruction is essential for building professional expertise. The importance of the skill of reflection has historically been valued as a critical characteristic of a good teacher. In Donald Schön's seminal work, The Reflective Practitioner (1983), he affirmed the importance of reflection in the teaching profession and stressed how skillful reflection builds professional excellence. Using Schön's work as a framework, the authors explore the use of video as a tool to support both competence and reflective practices in novice and veteran teachers enrolled in online education programs. This chapter surveys recent studies that support the growth of competent, reflective teachers. Video, combined with guidance on thoughtful reflection, support the use of instructional practices that build and strengthen teacher competence.
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Introduction

Preparation for teacher education has changed significantly is the last several decades as the role of teacher has evolved into a more expanded profession. Teachers are asked to be counselors, parents, advocates, nurses, psychologists, as well as other roles, many which they are not trained for. In addition, the landscape of education is changing as curricular changes have moved away from the “back to the basics” era and has pushed to more hands-on and inquiry-based instruction. In addition, the advent of 21st century technological advances have propelled learning into an area which has never been experienced by most current teachers. The use of learning management systems (LMS), online textbooks, virtual office hours and 24/7 access to information has pushed learning into a realm where few teachers have specific training to support these new demands. Perhaps even more important is that these advances have rapidly changed the landscape of what education looks like in today’s colleges and universities. Thus, the training of a teacher has demanded that that they be prepared for the rapid technological and pedagogical advances that have occurred, much of it in the past decade.

Methods to support and train today’s teachers have required colleges and universities examine what teaching practices support the best learning outcomes. This chapter focuses on only one segment of the college population, those within the realm of teacher education. While much of what is done to support new teachers is comparable to other disciplines, most agree that the role of an educator is unique in that new teachers are often expected to be experts in their field when they step foot into their first classroom. The stakes are high in teaching and for that reason schools of education work tirelessly to make sure that their graduates are fully prepared for their careers. One challenge that many teacher preparation programs encounter is the increase in the use of online instruction found in other programs and on most campuses. This has often dictated that teacher preparation programs turn to online learning as a possible avenue to augment the current instructional practices. Moving to some online instruction (or hybrid learning) in a field with such a hands-on requirement poses challenges, specifically in finding flexible online instructional tools which have the same effectiveness as face-to-face instruction.

One additional challenge for teacher preparation is to continue to offer supportive practices which lead novice students to gain confidence and competence in teaching. One hallmark goal of the teaching profession is to support teachers as they learn their craft. Education programs typically embrace the idea of reflection as a critical component to building professional expertise. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards lists five standards for all teachers. One of these, Proposition Four, states that teachers should think systematically about their teaching and thus learn from this experience (National Board, 2019). Additionally, virtually every state has their own professional teaching standards and the ability to be reflective is well represented across these standards. In the authors’ home state of North Carolina, Standard Five states that teachers must be competent in their ability to reflect upon their practice (NC Department of Education, 2013). The challenge of current teacher education programs is examining ways to support new emerging teachers in reflective practices while at the same time utilizing new online and technology based instructional practices. This chapter aims to examine how one tool, video reflection, can be utilized to benefit both pre-service and in-service teachers to improve their instruction while at the same time increasing their capacity to become reflective practitioners.

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