Chances and Difficulties of Video-Use for Mathematics Teacher Education at Scale: The Case of Learning Scaffolding

Susanne Prediger

Scaffolding is an ambitious conception not being easily acquired for mathematics teachers, especially in professional development at scale (i.e. with many participants). The talk presents video-based instructional approaches for different sub-goals and discusses the chances and limits that emerged in different practical and empirical projects.

Using Video to Examine Mathematics Teachers' Professional Vision

Miriam Gamoran Sherin

This presentation investigates the role of video in supporting mathematics teacher learning. In particular I discuss the ways in which video can support the development of one component of teaching expertise called "professional vision" - teachers' ability to notice and interpret significant features of classroom interactions. Drawing from recent research on "video clubs" in which groups of teachers watch and discuss video excerpts with colleagues, I examine what teachers can learn from viewing video, how this learning takes place, and the kinds of video that seem to foster productive discussions of students' mathematical thinking among teachers. In addition, I discuss the use of new digital video technologies that allow us to explore teachers' in-the-moment noticing during instruction.

Facilitating Reflection and Action: The Possible Contribution of Video to Mathematics Teacher Education

David Clarke

In the Interconnected Model of Teacher Professional Growth (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002), change in teacher beliefs, knowledge and practice is mediated by either enaction or reflection. The stimulus for change can be provided by an external source such as a professional development program or it can result from the teacher's inevitable classroom experimentation and her reflection on the consequences of that experimentation. This presentation explores the role that video can play in catalysing change and facilitating teacher reflection. In particular, the catalytic role of video is examined with respect to: (i) international research employing video and the capacity of such research to inform practice in both pre-service and in-service settings; (ii) the use of video in professional development programs and the choice between exemplary and problematic practice as catalysts for teacher reflection in both pre-service and in-service programs; (iii) video as one tool by which a standards-based professional culture can be both problematised and realised; and (iv) teacher agency and the role of video in supporting teachers’ reflection on their own practice, through the use of video as the communicative medium to sustain a professional community of reflective practitioners. An additional issue addressed in this presentation is the need for a language by which to discuss the practice of the mathematics teacher and the role that video can play in the development of such a language.


Clarke, D. J. & Hollingsworth, H. (2002) Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(8), 947-967.

Practices of Using Video Records as a Resource in Teacher Education

Deborah Loewenberg Ball

Rapid technological advances have made more commonplace the use of video records for the study of teaching. High-quality records are much easier and less expensive to collect than they were even five years ago. These records of classroom practice are often used as texts for collective inquiry into instruction, studied to identify specific strategies and techniques, analyzed to understand teaching and teachers’ learning, and used to broaden access to classrooms. Although some researchers have developed specific ways to use video records in teacher development and research, the field does not have a set of well-specified shared practices for the productive use of video records in teacher education. Because some excellent work already exists to support teachers’ use of their own videos with others (e.g., Miriam Sherin’s work with video clubs), this session will focus in particular on the work of using video records that are not from participants’ own classrooms. Three practices will be examined: (a) developing and practicing mathematical knowledge for teaching; (b) learning to hear common patterns of student thinking in a specific mathematical content domain, and (c) identifying and solving particular recurrent pedagogical problems. In order to create a shared context for considering these different practices of study, participants in the symposium will engage briefly in each of these ways of using video records as part of this session.

Teacher-centered discussions around videotaped mathematics lessons: What can be learned?

Abraham Arcavi and Ronnie Karsenty

In recent years, professional development of mathematics teachers uses videotaped mathematics lessons in two main ways: (a) discussing teachers' own lessons as a source for self-improvement; and (b) watching episodes in order to enhance teachers' understanding of students' mathematical thinking. The VIDEO-LM Project, developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, proposes another way. We suggest that teachers benefit from using videotaped lessons as "vicarious experiences", centering on how the filmed teacher enacts multifaceted elements of practice. The underlying assumption is that watching and discussing “remote” teaching events in a safe and supportive atmosphere which does not focus on judgmental feedbacks, eventually enhances teachers' self-inspective abilities and their awareness to their own teaching decisions. In this presentation, we will introduce and demonstrate the framework developed in the VIDEO-LM project for analyzing videotaped lessons This framework is implemented in collaborative discussions with teachers, directing participants to consider the following components: (1) mathematical and meta-mathematical ideas of the lesson (2) explicit and implicit goals that may be ascribed to the teacher; (3) beliefs about mathematics teaching as inferable from the teacher’s actions; (4) dilemmas and decision-making processes; (5) tasks selected by the teacher; and (6) the nature of the teacher's interactions with students. We will concentrate specifically on two of these components, and discuss preliminary findings from two teacher courses built around guided watching of videotaped lessons.

Making Sense of Teaching, and Working to Improve It

Alan H. Schoenfeld

The theoretical and practical challenges I have been working on for the past three decades are all deeply interwoven. My goal, ultimately, is to understand the process of teaching, and its development, well enough to help teachers become better at teaching mathematics – which means that their students become better mathematical thinkers and problem solvers. This involves at least three theoretical directions: (1) How and why do teachers (and others) make the decisions they make, in planning and teaching? (2) What are productive bases on which one can examine teachers’ developmental trajectories? (3) What are the fundamental dimensions of productive mathematics classrooms? These are all necessary, if one is to consider the “payoff” question: (4) how can we use these understandings to shape professional development in ways that support the improvement of teaching? The use of video has been central to my efforts in all of these areas. As a researcher asking about the nature of teaching (question 1), my job has been to model the act of teaching – to be able to take a video of teaching, and explain it on a line by line basis. That has led to one aspect of (4), in which a community of professional mathematicians use the ideas from 1 to discuss videos of their own teaching using the key constructs in the models. The frames in (2) and (3) offer ways of thinking about the balance of classroom activities in which a teacher engages, and the specific kinds of classroom activities that produce students who are powerful thinkers. Video analysis was central in identifying these – and, now lays the foundations for (4) major professional development efforts, in which coaches and lesson study communities will examine teaching with an eye toward improving it. I will discuss as much of this as time allows.