Teaching is a highly dynamic and interactive activity. Teachers need to have solid knowledge of the subject matter, but also the capacity to address diverse individual needs and unexpected challenges. It is important to provide prospective teachers with field teaching experience to help them learn through action and reflection. Feedback on a student teacher’s field experience helps bridge the gap between theory and practice. With the increasing popularity and convenience of video capture, videos of student teaching lessons have become important resources for the evaluation of student teaching.
In this study, the authors took this practice a step further and explored another potential application for videos in teacher preparation: using model student teaching videos to teach best practices. Not surprisingly, the student teachers who saw the model videos, which showed the best student teachers from previous years, had a much better understanding of the written evaluation rubrics than those who only read sample lessons along with the rubrics. Student teachers also said that seeing these model videos and their performance evaluation scores were very helpful in avoiding poor practices, and as a result of this observation their self-evaluations were closer to those reported by their supervisors.
In light of the dynamic nature of teaching, the findings of this study are not surprising. Video examples of student teachers in action along with their evaluation scores communicate much more about professional expectations than written lesson plans and their scores. This study provides an important framework and empirical evidence for considering the role of video in teacher education.Flickr