Why Video Works for Teacher Improvement and Reflection, According to the Research

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School and district leaders, you know that teacher improvement is essential to maximizing student growth.

There are many ideas for how teachers can learn and grow their practice, but it is more effective doing what has been research-proven. The research connection is also crucial when justifying the use of your ESEA or ESSA dollars.

When video tools enter the picture, teacher progress is certain. Video has been proven to support teacher improvement. 

But video can feel scary for educators who are worried about recording themselves or hate seeing themselves on camera.

If you have teachers or coaches reluctant to using video for observation, reflection, or coaching, point them to the research that shows why it’s worth overcoming the fear and hesitation.

We’ve compiled the many studies and pieces of research that prove the positive effects of using video for teacher improvement.

Research shows video leads to teacher improvement in instruction

Here’s what the research has proved about the effectiveness of video for teacher growth.

  • Teachers build vital professional knowledge. Whether in PLCs (professional learning communities) or grade team meetings, educators learn from each other when collaborating. Several studies showed that teachers build vital professional knowledge and skills when watching and discussing instructional videos with colleagues (Little, 2012; Sherin & Han, 2004).
  • Teachers make positive instructional changes. Analyzing their own instruction in real-time while teaching is too much of a juggling act. Instead, video provides teachers with the literal footage and evidence for a later time more conducive to productive reflection. Research has found that analyzing practice resulted in positive instructional change, including stronger questioning strategies and more meaningful student feedback (Tripp & Rich, 2012).

Video reflection makes teachers active in their own PD

Here’s what the research shows about the impact of video on teacher self-efficacy.

  • Teachers are motivated to learn from their own videos. Educators know that each lesson and each set of students varies greatly from classroom to classroom. One study showed that teachers feel they learn more significantly and meaningfully when watching their own instruction as opposed to clips of other teachers (Seidel et al., 2011). Seeing their own unique teaching makes it easier to improve their specific instruction, with video acting as a powerful mirror.
  • Teachers with strong video analysis skills have higher rates of student learning. Whether through peer or solo video analysis and reflection, research found that teachers who analyzed video for strategic improvement (such as by setting PEERS goals) positively connected to higher rates of student learning (Kersting et. al., 2010).

Video reflection is a driver of professional growth

Teacher improvement is often a schoolwide priority and video is an effective tool in professional learning and development.

From pilots to athletes, viewing footage of practice is crucial to improvement and growth. Research shows the many benefits of video, and teacher improvement is no different.

Here are links to the research referenced above:

Little, 2012

Sherin & Han, 2004

Tripp & Rich, 2012

Seidel et al., 2011

Kersting et. al., 2010

Still squashing those teacher hesitations? Help build trust in the video coaching process