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Under a Creative Commons license. Abstract Videotape and participant observation were used to document an American high school teacher workgroup's experience with collaborative teacher inquiry and to monitor changes in practice through two cycles of instructional planning, classroom implementation, and reflective analysis. Keywords Professional development.

Recommended articles Citing articles 0. I recognise the need for further evidence to judge my claims of living out my democratic values, thus I could ask the group if they would be willing for me to share the video footage of the session with them and discuss their feelings at certain stages of it. I plan to use video as a tool for reflecting on my own practice and encouraging others to do the same as this group of new and trainee teachers become teacher enquirers. If using video is such a powerful tool for reflection and analysis on our own professional practice, what prevents other practitioners from using it.

As I seek to explore the use of video further with Newly Qualified Teachers and Graduate Trainees, it is important that I understand the ethics of using video and the factors that prevent teachers from using it more widely as a tool for professional development. It means putting. This presents a difficulty for me in my desire to use video as a. In my position as Deputy Head I am already at a disadvantage in terms of my position in the hierarchy giving me power over others and now, according to Sontag, the method that I am intending to use more to conduct educational enquiry is adding to that power.

She goes on to say:. My response to this is that Sontag is only considering the act of taking an image here, she is not considering the use of the image.


Teacher Inquiry: Living the Research in Everyday Practice - CRC Press Book

The potential for using the images to carry out an analysis for improvement is not considered. Thus Hopkins [17] talks about how collaboration improved teaching:. The key point here is the use that was made of the video to analyse the evidence and convince the teacher that trying a different technique would improve outcomes. Hopkins is aware of the limitations of video when she says;. It is this completeness of picture that appeals to my democratic values.

Teacher inquiry : living the research in everyday practice

Of course, it is important to recognise that the person making the video acts as interpreter of events and chooses what to film. This can be overcome by setting the camera on a tripod with sight of the room so that it captures all events. The power relations evident in a hierarchical School system can lead to teachers being fearful about using video to analyse their practice. Watkins [18] discussion on feedback between teachers says:.

In these days of performance management and evidence of competency, it is not surprising to me that teachers are concerned about how the video will be used, who will see it and what judgements will be made. This makes it vital that senior managers like myself, make very clear to trainees and teachers what the purpose of the video is and what the context is in which it will be seen.

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They can then make an informed choice about whether or not they wish to participate in the video. The choice must be theirs. Clear guidelines should also be given to those watching the video so that the purpose for making the video in the first place remains the central focus. Given the potential value of video as a tool for improving professional practice, it seems vital to me that it is used sensitively and purposefully to overcome teachers fears.

I did this at a Training Day on formative assessment at our School and it helped to create an atmosphere of trust which encouraged other teachers to open up their classrooms to the observation of others. Embarrassment is another reason why teachers are reluctant to allow themselves to be videod. Hopkins identifies three stages to a pattern of response by teachers when watching a video of themselves teaching.

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The initial focus is teacher centred and is mainly concerned with teacher behaviour. The second stage that Hopkins identifies is when the focus tends to be pupil-centred and concerned with what the pupils are doing. She goes on to say how she changed the classroom environment to reduce opportunities to be off task. This developmental model of using video is useful in understanding the value of using video repeatedly and persisting with it despite initial embarrassment. It indicates the importance of giving the teacher control over how the video will be used and who will watch it, so that they grow in confidence and develop an interest in what the video is telling them about their teaching.

The need to become familiar with using video in the classroom extends to the participants as well. Using video in a teaching situation changes the group dynamic. People recognise that they can be held to account for what they say and do.

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The video remains as a record of actions. This can impact on individuals in different ways.

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For some it may inhibit contribution, others it may encourage to contribute more. Being clear about the purpose of the video with all the participants, the students as well as the teacher, is important for this reason. Sarah Fletcher and Jack Whitehead have helped me to understand that action research is wider than a method of research. It is an approach that draws on a flexible range of methods appropriate to the context. If my democratic values are the standards against which I am judging my own professional practice, then consistency requires that I choose democratic forms of evaluation to make claims about my practice.

What other tools are available to me to support claims made through the use of video? In an interview I would shape the questions and responses would be shaped by the questions. Body language would not be captured. In a Journal I would record my own voice and not necessarily the voices of others. I could incorporate the voices of others but again it would not capture the body language, nor would it confront me with the reality of my practice.

Using questionnaires enables me to capture the voices of others and I have used them to enquire in to teacher of concerns about the use of video See Appendix 3. Once again, I shape the questions and the voices of others are captured only in response to the questions that I ask. They do however provide me with another useful way of evaluating my claims. These methods can be integrated in to my enquiry where it is appropriate to do so.

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Use of the video for an action research enquiry allows reflection on the internal and external dialogues that democratise the enquiry. In using video you are increasing transparency by exposing yourself and your values. It enables democratisation of the validation process as the footage can be played to others who can then offer their views on the situation as you hold yourself accountable to your own values through your professional practice. This validation exercise sets in motion dialogues that democratise the process further. This is why I engaged in a validation exercise using video footage when conducting this enquiry.

This is an area that I should like to explore further using video within an action research approach. Pupil behaviour and teachers approaches to behaviour management are a major part of school culture that would be worth investigation. As I have responsibility for a group of graduate trainee teachers next year, I could discuss with them the use of video in building a record of their professional and personal development, using it to provide evidence of their own progress towards the Initial Teacher Training Standards.

These are the kinds of ways that I might go with my enquiry.