In response to a request by the Trump Foundation
a joint study process was designed and is being carried out for researchers, professionals and decision-makers on the topic of utilization of recorded lessons as a teaching development tool. The activity's steering committee includes Prof. Bat-Sheva Eylon from the Weizmann Institute of Science (chair), Dr. Adam Lefstein from Ben-Gurion University and Dr. Atara Shriki of Oranim Academic College of Education.
The activity's objective is to examine ways in which it is possible to take advantage of innovative video technologies and validated tools to monitor teaching with the goal of Israeli teachers' professional development, which will, in broad terms, be ultimately reflected in the achievements of students. The immediate focus is physics and mathematics instruction at the level of 5 study units. This topic is very current in Israel as the rate of matriculation examinees in these subjects is lower than desired and lower than the proportions found in the world's leading countries. Video technology and use of teaching assessment tools are likely to improve the level of teaching in these subjects. According to the most recent studies, a teacher's instructional ability is the factor likely to predict student success.
The core of the activity, which began in September 2012, is a study group of about 30 participants, all experts with ability and interest in the field – researchers, developers, teachers and teacher educators. In the period from January to April 2013 the group will meet three times (for a total of five full days). A written report from the meetings is expected to be submitted to the commissioning body and made publicly available online in September 2013.
The first meeting (January 2013): Mutual study on the basis of professional and theoretical presentations of study group members who will share their experience with the team members; additional background materials will also be presented. Projects from around the world and the uses made of video clips within the teacher professional development process will be presented and reviewed.
The second meeting (three days in one concentrated week in February 2013): A seminar open to the public and two days of workshop study with a pair of researcher-developers from the United States: Prof. Charlotte Danielson who developed Framework for Teaching
(FFT) and Mr. Mark Atkinson who developed a tool for videotaping lessons (teachscape.com
). Prof. Danielson and Mr. Atkinson will present the FFT method and the technological tools as a validated and systematic example of video use for the purpose of teachers' professional development. Other projects will also be presented whose goals are improvement of teaching and in which filmed lessons are used and analyzed according to the frameworks for monitoring teaching. During the course of the workshop, the group members will learn how, in a critical manner, to use filmed lessons and analyze them according to the frameworks for evaluating teaching. There is also likely to be experience using the medium.
The third meeting (April 2013): Discussion about the systematic use of filmed lessons and tools for evaluating teacher performance. The discussion will address ways to translate these two into improved teaching and student achievement in the 'sphere of activity and influence' of each one of the study group members.
The activity is taking place with the funding and assistance of the Trump Foundation