Learning from Classroom Video: How Can it Help Teachers?

Learning from Classroom Video: How Can it Help Teachers?

Jen Richards and Miriam SherinNorthwestern University professors Jen Richards (left) and Miriam Sherin.

Northwestern University professors Jen Richards and Miriam Sherin are co-principal investigators on a $700,000 collaborative National Science Foundation grant that explores how teachers learn from watching video clips of their classroom.

Video can help teachers make sense of students’ contributions and the impact of instructional interactions and practices, the researchers say. It is a powerful tool often used during professional development. But the field is still learning exactly how and under what conditions video supports specific forms of teacher learning.

The design-based research project, Facilitating Teacher Learning with Video Clips of Instruction in Science, seeks to expand the field’s understanding of mechanisms through which teachers learn from video during professional development sessions, in part through infusing and studying cognitive science principles of contrasting cases and self-explanation into teachers’ work with video.

Richards, research assistant professor in the learning sciences, designs and studies learning environments that are responsive to learners’ ideas, experiences, and motivations. She also looks at the multifaceted dynamics of teacher practice and learning across contexts and timescales. Her recent work in teacher practice and learning has been published in Cognition and Instruction, AERA Open, and Learning, Culture, and Social Interaction.

Sherin, the Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor of Learning Sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy and associate provost for undergraduate education, studies how teachers think and learn. A large portion of her research has focused on the idea of teacher “noticing”, looking specifically at an educator’s ability to identify and respond to significant events during instruction.

The author of Mathematics Teacher Noticing: Seeing Through Teachers’ Eyes, Sherin has been at the forefront of efforts to design and study contexts that use video to promote teacher learning for two decades.

Florida State University’s Miray Tekkumru-Kisa, associate professor of science education is leading the study. Other researchers include Jonathan Osborne, professor emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education; and Jane Richey, visiting lecturer in the psychology department at the University of Pittsburgh.

The project is jointly funded by the EHR Core Research program, which helps advance fundamental research on STEM learning and the Discovery Research K-12 program, which supports the research and development of innovative resources, models and tools in order to enhance STEM learning and teaching by pre-K-12 students and teachers.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 9/13/21