Classroom Observations and Reflections: Using Online Streaming Video as a Tool for Overcoming Barriers and Engaging in Critical Thinking

Angela T. Barlow, Michael R. McCrory, Stephen Blessing
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Abstract


In typical school settings, teachers are not afforded the opportunity to observe the instructional practices of their peers. Time constraints, opportunity, and willingness to participate in observational practices are just three of the factors that may limit teachersâ engagement in this type of activity. To provide teachers with opportunities to observe a standards-based, elementary mathematics classroom, online streaming videos of instruction were disseminated to third grade teachers within a single school. As they viewed each video, the participants were presented with the opportunity to read the teacherâs introduction explaining the focus of the video and engage in discussion around each video through text. Discussions included posting their own comments, reading other participantsâ comments, or posing questions. The purpose of this research was to examine the properties and/or qualities of the online streaming video that attracted the participants to use it, to identify the remaining obstacles that prevented the participants from utilizing the technology, and to explore the potential of online streaming video for engaging teachers in critically thinking about instruction and in turn impacting beliefs. Data was gathered in the form of surveys, interviews, and online comments. Results are provided and future research directions are given.

Keywords


Mathematics education, Professional development, Online video, Critical thinking, Beliefs

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