Video Feedback on Practicum: Demonstrating Effective Pedagogy and Making Children's Progress Explicit

Video Feedback on Practicum: Demonstrating Effective Pedagogy and Making Children's Progress Explicit

Shirley O'Neill (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) and Christopher Dann (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2630-8.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter highlights how the use of video feedback can support preservice teachers' understanding of how to improve the ways in which they scaffold and monitor students' literacy learning, gather formative assessment data in relation to set goals and make connections between educational theory and practice. It examines the contemporary shift towards democratic pedagogies in the context of learning in social constructivist environments and the need for preservice teachers to be aware of the impact of the teacher/student dialogues they create on the quality of pedagogy and students' learning. Preservice teachers' analysis of their pedagogical dialogue not only raises their awareness of the quality of dialogic turn-taking and questioning strategies but makes their associated ‘cognitive moves' explicit for their critical reflection, along with their use of the underpinning metalanguage. The chapter acknowledges the importance of preservice teachers' compilation of rich pedagogical data during practicums and shows how this contributes to deepening their learning. Similarly, it argues that emergent data are central to creating a dialogic community of inquiry where all practicum stakeholders are drawn into a process of learning and knowledge building.
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Introduction

Although it is almost two decades into the new millennium the promise of educational reform is gradually being illuminated as the body of research resulting from the shift from traditional pedagogy to social constructivism, and its implications, is considered. While it cannot be denied that preservice teacher education has rightly included the study of educational philosophy and classroom practice, and the relevance of essential theorists such as Piaget, Kolbe, and Vygotsky, for example, there are problems. It can be argued that it has not only failed to exemplify the ‘end product’ or ‘professional competencies’ that teachers require to impact positively on students’ learning but it has failed to meet the need to keep abreast of a dramatically changing social and globalized learning space. It has also failed to creatively utilize the advantages of digital communication and mobile technologies. There has remained an underlying dilemma for many teacher educators, teachers and preservice teachers as well as parents and community when attempts have been made to transition from the traditional view of learning to that implied in a social constructivist environment, e.g. learning is social and constructed through interactive talk (Edwards-Groves, Anstey & Bull, 2014; Powell, Kalina & Cody, 2009; Tochon, 2014; Windschitl, 1999).

In citing the research of Alexander (2005), Edwards-Groves et al. (2014) emphasize that even when the need for more interactive dialogue between teacher and students is acknowledged some teachers “still need to extend their repertoire to learner talk and to move away from the ‘default position’ of IREs” (p. 150). This acronym refers to the sequence of cognitive moves a teacher might make when interacting with students in the learning situation: Initiate-Respond-Evaluate (Heap, 1985). Traditionally, teachers have initiated (I) a question and then selected a student to respond (R), which is met with the teacher evaluating (E) that response in some way e.g. conveying whether the answer was correct or incorrect, but typically creating more of a monologue than a dialogue. Mayer (2012, p. 50) points out that this sequence, where the ‘evaluate’ move is referred to as ‘F’, meaning the teacher is providing some kind of evaluative-‘feedback’ (Sinclair & Coulthard, 1975) “continues to account for over two-thirds of the talk in classrooms, including face-to-face interactions between the teacher and an individual student”. While this suggests the need for both preservice and inservice teachers to engage in professional learning in this regard to fully explicate their understandings of democratic and dialogic pedagogies (Mayer, 2012; Skidmore & Murakami, 2016), Van Es and Sherin (2002) report that ‘expert’ teachers are aware of, and overtly manage their cognitive moves to best scaffold students’ learning, and are able to discuss them in terms of pedagogical decisions. Importantly, in comparison, they explain that ‘novice’ teachers fail to ‘notice’ the cognitive moves they make while teaching and therefore their discussion of lessons remains at the surface level as in a literal description of events.

In the IRE/IRF turn-taking sequence there is limited or no room for elaboration, or for the student or other students to initiate talk and discuss, as would be expected in a more dialogic interaction. However, Mayer (2012) points out how the IRE or IRF is but one of many possible tripartite interactions that may occur in teaching. She illuminates how in an authentic social constructivist, democratic classroom there would ‘teacher<->student<->students’ collaborative negotiations of meaning. She argues for a ‘parallel version’ of IRF discourse since:

[I]in any collaborative negotiation of meaning, one or more people must frame some organizing question or issue, the group must then develop possible responses to this inquiry, and the group must ultimately evaluate the various possibilities responses that the group has generated. In order for students to learn how to construct reliable understandings themselves, they would need to be given opportunities to participate across all three phases of the knowledge construction process. (p. 51)

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