Impact of Peer-Supported Video Analysis of Classroom Interactions on Teacher Understanding of Those Interactions
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This qualitative case study examined a researcher-designed professional development intervention focused on improving teachers’ understanding of the interactions among students and between students and teachers in the teachers’ own classrooms. Participating teachers collaborated with the researcher in determining what they would observe and collaborated with each other in making sense of what they saw. The study analyzed participants’ discourse to characterize what they saw, how they worked together, what they found helpful in the intervention, and how they benefited. The study took place over a three-month period at a Canadian Community College in Qatar committed to guiding its faculty in adopting a learner-centred approach. Four participants worked in pairs to share and discuss video of their own classes in action as they sought to adopt the desired learner-centred approach. After a Group Training Session led by the researcher to develop a Video Analysis Framework, the pairs worked through two iterations of individual video recording and selection of a ten-minute clip for sharing, followed by paired analysis of the clips. The researcher recorded the training session, the paired discussions, interviews, and focus group discussion. Data from transcriptions and researcher field notes were analyzed inductively and connected closely with findings from the literature on the benefits of video analysis in enhancing the effectiveness of teacher-directed professional development. Faculty participants benefited from the intervention in a variety of ways. Production, selection, and discussion of video of participants' own class sessions drew participants into focused reflection on student interactions, which led to heightened awareness of phenomena important to participants in becoming learner-centred teachers. Sharing perspectives with their peers generated consensus in interpretation. Iterations led to higher levels of inference and the emergence of a problem-solving approach in making sense of phenomena. Motivated by video analysis, participants experimented with what they considered to be improved teaching techniques. Participants demonstrated significant risk-taking, enhanced peer professional relationships, and ownership and autonomy in professional development.