ARTEFACTS FOR DEVELOPING STUDENT TEACHERS´ PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE THROUGH SELF-REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
Digital technologies have afforded new ways of organizing teacher education and enable for extramural activities. By associating captured video episodes with related teaching concerns it might be possible to extend student teachers´ self-reflection and at the same time, allow for accurate supervision feedback without the constraints of time and location.
The aim of this study was to investigate how a guiding framework consisting of a pedagogical tool, annotated video recorded lessons, reflective writing, combined with a tutors’ feedback, might provide an affordable method for student teachers´ self-reflection on their teaching.
The study included 28 student teachers who practiced teaching science subjects in Swedish secondary schools. The participating student teachers set up a CoRe (Content Representation) for a chosen topic and video recorded a lessons. The video recorded lesson then had to be annotated; exposing critical incidents in relation to their CoRe and to be complemented with a written reflection. This was sent to their tutor who provided the student with a feedback that was in its turn to be commented on by the student. At the end of their assignment all participants completed a questionnaire where they had to respond to six questions about their experience of the guiding framework and grade them from one to five. They were also asked to give a written explanation for their choice and in groups, discussed how the framework could be developed. This provided both qualitative and quantitative data, which were analyzed statistically and thematically, respectively.
From the results it was obvious that the student teachers had found the activity to be of great assistance for the development of their self-reflective practice. Comments on this were; the advantages of seeing themselves from a pupil’s perspective and direct their attention on specific learning concerns. The pedagogical tool CoRe was experienced as valuable for structuring and reflecting on their teaching, even if it was not seen as necessary per se for a video stimulated self-reflection. The annotations were perceived as facilitating as it made them examine their video thoroughly and concretize what happened in particular incidents. A written account was likewise seen as beneficial as it obliged them to put into words, and connect the process of planning, doing and reflecting. Some, however, remarked that it would have been valuable to discuss their lesson with e.g. colleagues or a more experienced teacher. Comments from a tutor were seen as valuable as it made them see additional aspects of their teaching and helped them reconsider their own inferences.
It can be concluded that an integrated use of digital and other artefacts for a structured self-reflective process has the potential to develop student teachers’ professional knowledge and augment teacher education in several aspects. Each of the integrated artefacts in the framework filled an important role for a self-reflective practice and can be applied in distance education with the aid of digital technologies.
The guiding framework was by the participants seen as advantageous although there might be other artefacts for video stimulated self-reflection which can be taken in consideration. There are also potentials for development of the framework in e.g. enabling synchronic discussions about the lesson with peers and tutors.