MRA Literacy Coaches January 2018


Video Analysis as a Coaching Tool

Last month, we wrote about the use of video as a coaching tool with pre-service teachers, and we described some of the research that has demonstrated the value of video-coaching for developing pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skill. But there is growing evidence that video analysis offers a valuable tool for coaching with in-service teachers, as well.

Research has shown that coaching that includes video-analysis opportunities helps in-service teachers develop deeper understandings of effective instructional moves and more reflective dispositions about their own instruction (Neuman & Wright, 2010; Rosemary et al., 2002).

Coaching dialogues about videotaped instruction draw out the complexity of teaching actions and help teachers connect theory to practice within the context of their own classrooms and in alignment with the learning needs of their own students. As a result, research suggests that teachers are more likely to deepen their knowledge of effective instructional practices that strengthen students’ learning (e.g., Ermeling, 2010; Neuman & Wright, 2010; Wilkinson, Reninger, & Soter, 2010).

During coaching sessions that include video analysis, coaches can combine modeling, advising, affirming, and problem-solving to develop teachers’ knowledge and skill and to encourage self-reflection (Heineke, 2013). These dialogic exchanges between the coach and a teacher create spaces for a teacher to reimagine instruction and to integrate newly learned information within the context of their own situated teaching context (Robertson et al., 2013; Dillon, O’Brien, Sato & Kelly, 2011). Additionally, video coaching provides a “lens” for teachers to view their own practice in order to isolate, co-view, and discuss particular teaching actions; thus, co-viewing offers increased opportunities for teachers to track their progress as responsive facilitators of children’s learning (Tripp & Rich, 2012). Using video analysis also helps to maintain the focus of the coaching session on students; and student-focused coaching has been found to improve teachers’ knowledge and skill across a range of reading programs, both those that rely on teachers’ independent decision-making and those that feature more scripted interventions (Denton, Swanson, & Mathes, 2007).

Our own work has led us to study coaching in a variety of contexts. One example comes from a series of recent studies in the Durrell Reading and Writing Clinic at BU’s School of Education, where we video-recorded teachers as they taught, and then together with individual teachers, co-viewed the recordings and used these as the basis for our coaching sessions. The conversations that occurred from these co-viewing sessions were replete with observations about teaching and learning and rich with explorations of the theories and practices that should be grounding our work with students.

In follow-up surveys, teachers reported that these video-based coaching sessions were highly instructive, particularly once teachers moved beyond their feelings of awkwardness at being recorded (e.g., “Watching myself and hearing my voice was definitely the most challenging”). Surveys included comments like the following: “Hearing myself on video allowed me to see what kinds of teacher talk enhanced instruction and also what I should have said to improve my instruction;”

“Most helpful was planning next steps for instruction;” and “It was helpful to have the same coach view the videos because I felt more confident that she understood the context and my student’s needs.”

Overall, we observed that using video as a coaching tool helped teachers view their teaching (and their students) more objectively. In general, teachers found that video analysis added another dimension to their coaching sessions that helped them view their instruction in a more integrated, coherent way. In this way, they were better able to reflect on their teaching, and with their coach, to consider ways to strengthen their instruction and the learning opportunities for their students.

References cited in this month’s blog

Denton, C.A., Swanson, E.A., & Mathes, P.G. (2007). Assessment-based instructional coaching provided to reading intervention teachers. Reading and Writing, 20, 569-590.

Dillon, D.R., O’Brien, D.G., Sato, M. & Kelly, C.M. (2011). Professional development and teacher education for reading instruction. In M.L. Kamil, P.D. Pearson, E. Moje, & P. Afflerbach (Eds.), Handbook of Reading Research (Vol. 4), (pp. 629 –660). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ermeling, B.A. (2010). Tracing the effects of teacher inquiry on classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 377-388

Heineke, S.F. (2013). Coaching discourse: Supporting teachers’ professional learning. Elementary School Journal, 113, 409-433.

Neuman, S.B., & Wright, T.S. (2010). Promoting language and literacy development for early childhood educators: A mixed-methods study of coursework and coaching. Elementary School Journal, 111, 63-86.

Risko, V.J. (2009). Reading teacher education – Building an evidence base. Journal of Reading Education, 35, 5-11.

Robertson, D.A., Ford-Connors, E., Kamberelis, G., & Paratore, J.R. (2013, December). Enhancing teaching effectiveness through interactive video analysis with literacy coaches. Paper presented at the 63rd Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association, Dallas, TX.

Rosemary, C.A. et al. (2002). Improving literacy teaching through structured collaborative inquiry in classroom and university clinical settings. Yearbook of the National Reading Conference, 51, 368-382.

Tripp, T.R., & Rich, P.J. (2012). The influence of video analysis on the process of teacher change. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 728-739.

Wilkinson, I.A.G., Reninger, K.B., & Soter, A.O. (2010). Developing a professional development tool for assessing quality talk about text. Yearbook of the National Reading Conference, 59, 135-153).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.