Last fall George Mason University flipped the switch on introducing video to its entire M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction-Elementary Education program.
Now Edthena is part of students’ professional development in all of their courses and field-based experiences.
Recently we shared Audra Parker’s webinar presentation about how GMU adopted video. Here are her answers to a few additional questions…
How did the teacher candidates react to the introduction of video observation?
I’ll admit there was an initial period of anxiety. However, we scaffolded the process by asking students to upload and share simple, non-evaluative tasks.
After reflecting on the initial assignments on Edthena, students noticed things about their practice or about a child’s behavior that they were not aware of before!
Students quickly came to see the value of video and video coaching in their professional development. Any initial apprehension faded away.
How has using video changed your role as a coach?
As both a peer coach in my old elementary school and as a coach of pre-service teachers in all stages of teacher education, I often made word-for-word, scripted notes to try and “capture” a teaching event.
Transitioning to using video with Edthena has drastically changed the depth and quality of my coaching.
Post-observation conferences with students are now professional conversations, supplemented by reflection that’s grounded in visual evidence – not memory or written notes.
How has video observation changed the culture around observation?
Without video, post-observation reflections between a student and a coach needed to happen very soon after the observation was conducted.
By using Edthena and removing the required immediacy, students are not burdened by the emotional responses that often occur right after a lesson.
Now they are able to be much more subjective and rational in their reflections. This allows for conversations with coaches to be as purposeful and productive as possible.
How has video observation changed the role of the teacher candidates in the observation process?
Now that students have space between execution and reflection, they can analyze course readings and make connections with research.
Ultimately, this shifts the onus of the conversation from the coach to the student—it puts them in charge of their reflection, and coaches are able to facilitate rather than direct.