Making connections: Lessons on the use of video in pre-service teacher education
This paper reports on the trial of video excerpts of mathematics teaching used in teaching pre-service primary teachers in a four-year undergraduate teacher education degree program. After viewing a video excerpt of teaching a basic mathematics concept, pre-service teachers were asked to identify the focus of the lesson and aspects of the teacher's practice that were effective; list questions they would ask the teacher; identity anything that they would do differently and what they would do next; compare the teaching videoed with that observed during professional experience in schools; describe the extent and ways in which it contradicted or confirmed their existing beliefs about effective mathematics teaching; and to assess the value of video excerpts as a teaching tool. The findings suggested that pre-service teachers struggled to see beyond readily evident aspects of teaching, such as the use of concrete materials. Most reported that the videos showed teaching that was similar to teaching they had observed and that confirmed their existing beliefs. However, the pre-service teachers were positive about the use of video excerpts in their course. The paper concludes with recommendations for realising the potential of video to assist pre-service teachers to observe and reflect on teaching.