Title: An Exploratory Study of Digital Video Editing as a Tool for Teacher Preparation (2008)
Authors: Brendan Calandra, Rachel Gurvitch, and Jacalyn Lund
Research Design: According to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, novice teachers on average quit after five years. Considering this high turnover, researchers, practitioners and educators are concerned about better preparing future candidates for the trials and tribulations of teaching. Research suggests that reflection is an important component of the learning and professional growth process. Among other benefits, reflection can encourage teachers to make sense of and resolve potential classroom challenges. While prior research suggests that digital video helps encourage reflection, thanks to its objectivity and immediate feedback, few studies have been done on the role of editing video as a medium to foster reflection.
In this exploratory study, ten teacher candidates were asked to teach three 45-minute lessons that were videotaped. After writing about how they felt the lessons went, the teacher candidates were then asked to edit short video clips of their lessons. Upon completing the video clips, the participants were asked again to write a reflective piece about the lessons that they had taught.
Findings: The authors of the study observed changes in the level of complexity of the written reflections, as well as the foci of the reflections after editing their video clips. Prior to editing, participants tended to simply label events. Post-video editing, candidates tended to add a theoretical and contextual component, which enhanced the complexity of their reflections. Further, while the video clips predominately were focused on the teacher candidates themselves as opposed to the learning behavior of their students, over time some of the participants’ reflections began to revolve around their students and the classroom context. What’s more, participants typically edited vignettes of what they initially thought were positive components of their lessons. Over time, however, some of their positive opinions of these teaching moments changed as a result of video editing. Participants also added comments in their written reflections about how they might improve upon their teaching after editing their videos.
Moving forward: The findings of this exploratory study suggest that video editing could serve as an interesting medium to encourage reflection in the context of teacher training. Assuming that the videos teacher candidates create mirror their perspectives and assumptions, the authors of this study felt that video editing could be an effective format for understanding how teacher candidates’ perceptions inform choices and actions in the classroom. In this sense video editing functions as an interesting meta- learning tool that could be applied to other fields. Imagine, for example, if medical students were asked to edit video footage regarding what they believe to be good "bedside manner." Building on the findings of this study, future research might focus on the use of video editing in different professional fields. Other fruitful research directions could focus on potential instructional support during the video editing process that encourages reflection.
Image: Video film reel by Wilfredor (via Wikimedia Commons)