טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentPeretz Yochai
SubjectInvestigating Mathematics Teachers' Professional
Development by Means of a Video Club in a
Secondary School: A Case Study
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors Dr. Einat Heyd-Metzuyanim
Dr. Ronnie Karsenty


Abstract

The study reported here explored how secondary mathematics teachers, participating in a school-based video club, communicated with each other and with the facilitator along the different sessions of the club.

In the first 6 sessions, the facilitator selected videos of lessons taught by teachers unknown to the team and in the last 2 sessions the group watched lessons taught by team members.

The main findings are as follows:

         Three types of evaluative comments were identified: Decisive negative judgments; disagreement and proposing alternative actions; and the ability to discuss possible reasons for the observed teaching actions, despite the speaker’s disagreement with them. In addition to these three categories of evaluative comments, we have identified a fourth category associated with evaluation, which we termed “adhering to non-evaluative norms”.

         The amount of decisive negative judgmental comments gradually decreased over the sessions, with the exception of session 6, to the point of total lack of judgmental comments during the last two sessions.

         The frequency of idea units classified under the theme of evaluation has decreased over the sessions (again, except for session 6). Their place was taken by idea units relating to two other main themes that were derived from the data analysis: "pedagogical discourse about actions of the videotaped teacher" and "pedagogical discourse oriented towards low achievers". These idea units were analyzed in order to determine the amount of productivity based on two basic discourse characteristics: "participation and discourse norms" and "focus on teaching and learning".

         Examination of data over the course of all 8 meetings showed that the discourse had not developed equally in all dimensions. While teachers' discourse concerning "teaching and learning" evolved gradually, no distinct patterns were discerned in the dimension of "participation and discourse norms".

         The first meeting was characterized as being non-productive on both discourse dimensions. However, by the last two meetings, the teachers’ discourse levels have reached an advanced stage and were productive.


In conclusion, the analysis shows that the group of teachers that participated in the video club underwent a meaningful process through which they focused decreasingly on evaluative judgment and increasingly on important classroom episodes, while engaging in productive discussions about these episodes.

This study offers a methodological contribution in that it offers a tool for examining evaluative judgments in teachers discourse. Its empirical contribution comes from this being the first study showing the process whereby evaluative judgment decreases during Video-LM meetings. For future facilitators, the awareness of the process by which such a decrease in judgmental discourse can occur is of practical importance. This research can provide them with better understanding of professional development processes that in-service teachers can undergo. Moreover, this research can provide future facilitators and researchers a fruitful path towards a better understanding of how and under which circumstances evaluative talk can be decreased. Finally, this study can lead to a practical method of implementing the VIDEO-LM club in more schools that are interested in creating a school-based video club without an external facilitator.