To know or not to know? To lead or not to lead? Important questions and findings from a video-based professional development study
Video cases and video clubs have become popular forms of teacher professional development. However, there have been few systematic investigations of designs for such programs. Two ways in which video-based professional development programs may vary include: (a) whether teachers watch video of their own and their peers’ instruction, or whether they watch “stock video” of teachers they do not know; and (b) whether discussions about video clips are led by trained facilitators or by participants themselves. In the case of video type, might teachers find more meaning in watching and discussing their own or their peers’ lessons or lessons of unknown teachers? In the case of facilitation type, can discussions led by teachers maintain the focus and depth of sessions led by trained facilitators? I will describe a study in which twelve groups of teachers were assigned to one of four professional development groups: own video-facilitator-led, own-video-teacher-led, stock-video-facilitator-led, stock-video-teacher-led. I will introduce the observational tool (the Mathematical Quality of Instruction instrument) used in the study, which provided teachers with a common language and a framework through which to view and discuss teaching. I will share the findings from the study and the implications for how teacher leaders might structure video-based professional development. I will also discuss how I am applying what I have learned through this study to working with instructors and graduate teaching assistants.