Teacher PD – Week 8 – Reading Notes

Heller, J.I., Daehler, K.R., Wong, N., Shinohara, M., & Maritrix, L.W. (2012). Differential effects of three professional development models on teacher knowledge and student achievement in elementary science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49 (3): 333-362.

  • Study’s sample
    • 6 states
    • 270 elementary teachers
    • 7000 students
    • Same science content components
  • Teacher intervention types:
    • Teaching Cases
      • Design Goals
        • Examine students’ science ideas as they pertained to key concepts in electric circuits,   critically analyze trade-offs among instructional options,
        • See content as central and intertwined with pedagogy
        • Focus on the specific content and curricula being taught.
      • PD Activities
        • Analyzing the student work presented in a case in terms of correct and incorrect ideas
        • Identifying the logic behind common incorrect science ideas
        • Analyzing the teacher’s instructional choices
        • Weighing the tradeoffs of instructional choices in terms of the benefits and limitations of a model, metaphor, definition, or representation used by the teacher in the case
        • Considering the implications for teaching their own students
        • Reflecting on the process of using cases as a tool for learning.
    • Looking at Student Work
      • Design Goals
        • Examine students’ science ideas as they pertained to key concepts in electric circuits,
        • Recognize evidence of incorrect mental models, correct understandings, and proficiency,
        • Analyze tasks to identify characteristics that support formative assessment, and make instructional choices grounded in evidence of student thinking.
      • PD Activities
        • Identified science concepts that were central to a student task
        • Completed the task and analyzed its cognitive demands
        • Identified assessment criteria or constructed an assessment rubric for the task
        • Analyzed the student work in terms of correct and incorrect ideas, as well as common mental models
        • Considered the implications for teaching and learning
        • Described the merits and limitations of the task
        • Reflected on the process of looking at student work.
    • Metacognitive Analysis
      • Design Goals
        • Identify concepts that teachers found challenging to learn related to electric circuits,
        • Examine the logic behind common incorrect ideas pertaining to the topic,
        • Reflect on their own and others’ processes for learning science
        • Analyze the roles of hands-on investigations, discourse, and inquiry in science learning.
      • PD Activities
        • Science ideas they learned during the science investigation
        • Concepts that were particularly tricky or surprising
        • The logic behind an incorrect science idea that they had
        • The implications for what students should learn and how the science content should be taught.
    • + “business as usual” control group
      • Regular PD sessions
  • All 3 showed significant improvement in learning outcomes
    • But better focus on student’s ways of learning rather than teacher’s
      • “Findings suggest investing in professional development that integrates content learning with analysis of student learning and teaching rather than advanced content or teacher metacognition alone.” (Heller, Daehler, Wong, Shinohara, & Maritrix, 2012, p1)
  • Research Questions & Results
    • 1. What effects do the teacher courses have on teacher science content test scores?
      • All 3 methods showed content test score gains, little difference amongst them
    • 2. What effects do the teacher courses have on teacher written justifications?
      • All 3 methods showed content test score gains, little difference amongst them
    • 3. What effects do the teacher courses have on student science content test scores?
      • All 3 methods showed content test score gains, little difference amongst them
    • 4. What effects do the teacher courses have on student written justifications?
      • Only “Looking at Student Work” course significantly improved scores
      • “Teaching Cases” showed some results in the second year
      • “Metacognitive Analysis” did not show improvements compared to control group
    • 5. What effects do the teacher courses have on English language learner science content test scores?
      • All 3 methods showed content test score gains, little difference amongst them
    • 6. What effects do the teacher courses have on English language learner written justifications?
      • No improvements
  • Requirement
    • Only the “Looking at Student Work” group were teaching the content at the same time as the PD was being delivered – could this have affected/biased the results!?
  • Conclusion
    • PD was delivered not only by the developers, but by trained facilitators
      • “The positive outcomes indicate that the train-the-trainers model has the potential for broad dissemination and impact at a relatively low cost. While there is a considerable body of research on professional development for teachers, there is almost no research on preparation of facilitators of professional development.” (Heller, Daehler, Wong, Shinohara, & Maritrix, 2012, p25)

Penuel, W. R., Gallagher, L. P., & Moorthy, S. (2011). Preparing teachers to design sequences of instruction in earth science: A comparison of three professional development programs. American Educational Research Journal, 48(4), 996-1025.

  • Study to evaluate “whether and how professional development can help teachers design sequences of instruction that lead to improved science learning.” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p996)
  • Measured across 2 dimensions:
    • The extent to which the programs guided teachers’ selection of curriculum materials
    • Whether or not teachers received explicit instruction in models of teaching associated with particular methods for designing instruction.
  • Results
    • Positive student learning outcomes where “teachers received explicit instruction in models of teaching” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p996)
    • “we hypothesized that for teachers to use instructional materials well in the classroom, they must receive explicit instruction in the models of teaching that underlay those materials.” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p999)
  • “Professional development should aim to guide teachers’ design of instruction and uses of curriculum materials (M. W. Brown & Edelson, 2003; Davis & Varma, 2008)” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p997)
    • “emphasis in recent years has been placed on preparing teachers to follow, rather than create or adapt, curriculum materials and programs (Institute of Education Sciences, 2009)”  (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p997)
    • Assumptions by policy makers et al. that teachers do not possess significant PCK, therefore want teachers simply follow curricula designed be ‘experts’
    • “Teachers inevitably do adapt curricula and programs to fit their classroom contexts (Squire, MaKinster, Barnett, Luehmann, & Barab, 2003)” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p997)

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  • Research questions
    • Do students learn more Earth systems science when professional development guides them to select curriculum materials that are focused on learning goals when designing units of instruction?
    • Do students learn more Earth systems science when professional development for their teachers provides them with explicit instruction in models of teaching?
    • To what extent does variation in teachers’ enactment of models of teaching, whether these models are taught explicitly or not to teachers, account for differences in student learning?
  • Roots of the problem – curriculum lacking the How
    • “past two decades have been focused on the development of curriculum materials aligned to standards (National Research Council, 2006).” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p998)
    • “few provide sufficient opportunities for students to investigate phenomena directly in a way that gives students an experience of doing science (Kesidou & Roseman, 2002)” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p998)
  • Teachers will adapt – so design for that
    • “importance of anticipating teachers’ uses of curriculum in planning professional development.” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p999)
    • “organize professional development for productive adaptations.” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p1000)
  • Teach the teaching models prescribed within the curriculum
    • “provide teachers with explicit guidance or instruction in the models of teaching specified within materials” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p1000)
    • not enough to put a side note within the written material – must model, enact it, and engage with it
  • Understanding by Design
    • “UbD is a framework for designing curricular units of instruction that centers on the big ideas, essential questions, and authentic performances (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998).” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p1002)
    • Similar methodologies
      • Project-based learning (Blumenfeld et al., 1991; Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006; Krajcik & Czerniak, 2007; Krajcik et al., 2008)
      • 5E (Engage–Explore–Explain–Elaborate– Evaluate) instructional model (Bybee, 1997, 2004; Bybee et al., 2006)
  • Study Methodology
    • 3 PD interventions + control group (no PD intervention)
    • Dimensions of differentiation
      • Teachers received professional development in which they were guided to select materials focused on learning goals and that incorporated inquiry-oriented pedagogy
      • Teachers received professional development that provided them with explicit instruction in models of teaching.
    • Conditions
      • 1) Earth Sciences by Design
        • Prepares teachers to apply the principles of UbD
        • No guidance on choice of materials
      • 2) Investigating Earth Sciences
        • No explicit instruction in the models of teaching
        • Do not use external materials, only the ones in the website
      • 3) Hybrid
        • Explicit instructions in the models of teaching & Practice in the design of curricula
        • Content should be at least 50% from the website – guidance provided in selecting external material
      • 4) Control
        • Simply given the curriculum – did not participate in any PD, even though they could
  • Findings
    • “what is particularly important is that teachers develop the capacity to design sequences of instruction by learning a set of pedagogical principles that can guide their selection or adaptation of materials.” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p1020)
    • “policy considers neither teachers nor curricula in and of themselves as agents of change.” (Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011, p1021)

Carlson, J. & Gess-Newsome, J. (April 2014). PCK in biology teachers resulting from professional development and educative curriculum materials. Paper presented at 2014 AERA Annual International Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

  • PCK Indicators
    • Describe the big ideas in a given content area and the relationship among those ideas.
    • Articulate what they intend students to learn about those ideas.
    • Understand why it is important for students to understand these ideas.
    • Recognize the prerequisite knowledge that they as teachers must have to teach a concept.
    • Understand the difficulties associated with teaching a particular concept.
    • Draw upon a repertoire of ways to ascertain students’ understanding or confusion.
    • Use knowledge about students’ thinking and context to influence instructional decisions.
    • Present multiple representations for the teaching of a concept.
    • Provide a rationale for the selection of teaching strategies and procedures.
  • Educative Curriculum Materials
    • Analyzing Instructional Materials (AIM) for Selection
  • Key characteristics of transformative PD
    • Create a high level of cognitive dissonance to disturb the equilibrium between teachers’ existing beliefs and practices and their experience with subject matter, students’ learning, and teaching;
    • Provide time, contexts, and support for teachers to think and revise their thinking;
    • Connect professional development experiences to teachers’ students and contexts; Provide a way for teachers to develop practices that are consistent with their new understandings
    • Provide continuing help in the cycle of issue identification, new understanding, changing practice, and recycling.
  • Hypothesis
    • Increase teacher’s academic knowledge
    • Improve their PCK
    • Change their practice to be more inquiry-oriented.
  • Challenges for the teachers in changing practice
    • Students though, are not used to ‘thinking about how they think, think about what they know’
    • Time
    • Availability of lab materials
    • Personal beliefs on what is important to teach and what students could learn
    • Conflict in the goals of instruction (own or district’s)
  • Conclusion
    • It worked – using PD to discuss how to implement a curriculum worked.
    • Expensive – time, money, and expertise required
    • Teachers lacked depth and breadth of teaching strategies, or what is effective teaching
    • Feel unsure or do not know what do once they uncovered students’ thinking
    • Few teachers had a conceptual grasp of Biology as a whole, only silos of content

Teacher PD – Week 6 – Class Notes


Jigsaw exercise

Science Readings – Group 2
Audience – Teachers

Conceptual framework

  • STeLLA Conceptual Framework
    • Student Thinking
    • Science Content Storyline
  • Deepen content knowledge + STeLLA framework
  • Theory of teacher learning
    • “Theory of teacher learning. The program design was guided by a situated cognition theory of teacher learning and a cognitive apprenticeship model of instruction that view learning as naturally tied to authentic activity, context, and culture (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Lave, 1988).”
  • Theory of science teaching and learning
    • “Theory of science teaching and learning. The STeLLA program is based on a constructivist, conceptual change view of science teaching and learning that focuses on making student thinking visible so that instruction can be responsive to students’ emerging ideas, understandings, and confusions and thus support them in developing understandings of science concepts and phenomena that genuinely make sense to them (not just memorized words) “

With regard to our primary research question about program effects, we observed that students whose teachers experienced content deepening integrated with analysis-of-practice in their professional development program (i.e., STeLLA) reached higher levels of science achievement than did students whose teachers received content deepening alone.”

Control group was called comparison group

How did it influence:

  • Research question
    • Content embedded within practice
  • PD Design
    • Center around videos and artifacts
    • Inquiry based
    • Social constructivist where the group comes up with explanation
    • Link science content & pedagogy
  • Research Design

Most important to share?

  • How to do it

What doesn’t matter?

  • Statistics


PD for teacher


  • Grounded on the content of the PD – algebraic reasoning
  • Student thinking
  • Addressing content knowledge
  • Focus on one key idea
  • On site support


Teacher PD – Week 6 – Reading Notes

Little, J.W. (2004). ‘Looking at student work’ in the United States: a case of competing impulses in professional development. In C. Day & J. Sachs (Eds.) International Handbook on the Continuing Professional Development of Teachers (pp. 94-118). UK: Open University Press.

  • Looking at student work
    • Root teacher learning in and from practice
      • Deep understanding of how children learn
    • External control of teaching and teacher education
      • Standards
      • Controlling practice
      • Exercising sanctions
    • More attention to
      • School reform
      • Public accountability
  • Contradictory purposes
    • Stimulating and supporting teacher learning
    • Instructional decision making
    • Bolstering teacher community
    • Advancing whole-school reform
    • Satisfying demands for public accountability
  • Learning in and from practice
    • Not as many as we would wish for
  • Escalating accountability pressures
  • Looking at student work: profiles of purpose and practice
    • Principal rational for looking at student work
    • Programmatic choices
    • Purposes
      • Deepen teacher knowledge
      • Strengthen teacher’s instructional practice in specific subject domains
      • Collective capacity for improvement in teaching and learning at the school level
      • Review of student work in the service of standards implementation and external accountability
  • Student work as a resource for deepening teacher knowledge
  • Student work as a catalyst for professional community and school reform
  • Student work as an instrument of external accountability
  • Multiple purposes – complementary or competing?
    • Tension
      • Teacher-defined inquiry and compliance with external standards
      • Research-based model and honoring teachers’ own interests and expertise
  • Teacher PD has many purposes, but hard to do them all in one
    • Depth of understanding in particular subject domains
    • Professional norms of mutual support and critique
    • Expectations for both internal and external accountability regarding students’ opportunity to learn
  • Teacher PD must account for local resources and knowledge to promote teacher community at the school site
  • Audit society
    • Leaves no room for experimentation
    • Teachers have little opportunity to reflect
    • No support from cohort
  • Contributions and limitations of research
    • ‘Value added’: contribution to teacher knowledge and practice
      • Triangle studies
        • Teacher development
        • Classroom practice
        • Student learning
      • Instructional triangle
        • Teacher
        • Student
        • Curriculum
    • Moderation
      • Make sure scores are being interpreted in the same way by all
    • Limited scope of research, expanding the scope of practice
      • “The result: a growing arena of practice that remains weakly positioned to capitalize on research, and research weakly attentive to expanding contexts of practice.” Little, 2004)

Little, J.W., Gearhart, M., Curry, M., & Kafka, J. (2003). Looking at student work for teacher learning, teacher community, and school reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 85, 185-192.

  • Looking at student work usually occurs in isolation
  • Common elements of practice
    • Bringing teachers together to focus on student learning and teaching practice
    • Getting student work on the he table and into the conversation
    • Structuring the conversation
  • What seems to work
    • Flexible, creative use of tools for local purposes
    • Ability to exploit subject expertise and examine subject issues
    • A balance between comfort and challenge
    • Facilitation to build a group and deepen a conversation
  • Three Dilemmas in making the most of looking at student work
    • Concern for personal comfort and collegial relationships
    • Scarce time, many interests
    • Uncertainty about what to highlight in “looking at student work”

Science Readings

Roth, K.J., Taylor, J.A., Wilson,C. D. & Landes, N.M. (April, 2013). Scale-up study of a videocase-based lesson analysis PD program: Teacher and student science content learning. Paper presented at the 2013 NARST Annual International Conference, Puerto Rico.

  • The Problem: Science Content Knowledge for Elementary Teachers
    • “Content knowledge is insufficient to identify and address children’s misunderstandings (Roth, Anderson, & Smith, 1987); in fact, teachers sometimes hold the same misconceptions as their students.” (Roth, Taylor, Wilson, & Landes,  2013).
    • Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STeLLA)
      • Look at videos of practice
      • Student Thinking Lens
        • Strategies to reveal, support, and challenge student thinking
          • Ask questions to elicit student ideas and predictions
          • Ask questions to probe student ideas and predictions
          • Ask questions to challenge student thinking
          • Engage students in interpreting and reasoning about data and observations
          • Engage students in using and applying new science ideas in a variety of ways and contexts
          • Engage students in making connections by synthesizing and summarizing key science ideas
          • Engage students in communicating in scientific ways
      • Science Content Storyline Lens
        • Identify one main learning goal
        • Set the purpose with a focus question and/or goal statement
        • Select activities that are matched to the learning goal
        • Select content representations matched to the learning goal and engage students in their use
        • Sequence key science ideas and activities appropriately
        • Make explicit links between science ideas and activities
        • Link science ideas to other science ideas
        • Highlight key science ideas and focus question throughout
        • Summarize key science ideas

Roth, K. et al (in press). The Effect of an Analysis-of-Practice, Videocase-Based, Teacher Professional Development Program on Elementary Students’ Science Achievement. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

  • Few rigorous studies about the relation of PD and student outcomes
    • “…few studies have tested causal relationships between teacher PD programs and student outcomes (Roth et al., 2011; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007; Sleeter, 2014) and even fewer have used rigorous research designs.” (Roth, 2016, p.1)
  • Elementary teachers have little science content knowledge
    • “These problems are especially prevalent for elementary teachers who have little training in science-specific pedagogy or in the science disciplines they are expected to teach (Dorph et al., 2007, 2011; Fulp, 2002; Smith & Neale, 1989; Stoddart, Connell, Stofflett, & Peck, 1993).” (Roth, 2016, p.2)
  • Growing consensus that professional development should:
    • Engage teachers actively in collaborative analyses of their practice;
    • Treat content as central and intertwined with pedagogical issues;
    • Enable teachers to see these issues as embedded in real classroom contexts;
    • Focus on the content and curriculum teachers are teaching;
    • Be guided by an articulated model of teacher learning that specifies what knowledge and skills teachers will gain, what activities will lead to this learning and how this new knowledge and skills will appear in their teaching practices (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 1999; Desimone, 2009; Elmore, 2002; Garet et al., 2001; Guskey & Yoon, 2009; Hawley & Valli, 2006).
  • STeLLA’s shortcomings
    • Internal validity – control group was the same group of teachers one year before
    • External validity – samples drawn from urban schools in a single geographic region
    • Scalability – program developers delivered the PD – how would a PD facilitator have implemented it?
  • STeLLA suggested improvements
    • Random assignment of schools in the study to the program or a comparison condition;
    • The inclusion of a diverse sample of schools in the study;
    • A specified comparison condition that matched the treatment condition in duration, intensity, and contact hour
    • A treatment delivered entirely by PD providers who were not developers of STeLLA.

Teacher PD – Week 5 Reaction: The Role of Video in Teacher Learning


Read the responses your colleagues wrote about the reading and react to them.

(see responses below)

The reading responders did a clear job of relating Gaudin and Chaliès (2015) framework with van Es and Sherin’s (2009) “video club” and Gröschner, Kiemer and colleagues’ Dialogic Video-Cycle (DVC). While some focused on the methodology of the studies, others raised interesting questions about the research paper and the information it offered. Some common themes emerged from the responses, besides their descriptive nature.

All reviewers, for both the video club and DVC, seem to agree that they adhere to Gaudin and Chaliès framework and were successful in achieving their goals. In all cases, the effect of watching video in PD seem to be positive especially on teacher’s motivation and consequently, the students’ interest in the discipline. Teacher’s metacognitive abilities also were positively affected in both cases. The teacher’s reactions to the PD were also positive, giving them a sense of competency and self-efficacy. In both cases teachers watched videos of their own practice and were scaffolded for “selective attention” and “learning to notice”.

Another common thread was that the responders all felt that there was room for more information in the papers. The decision process of selecting and editing the videos that best fit the PD experience was not fully delineated. For one responder the video selection process was clear, yet only in terms of its mechanics and procedures. Little mention is made about content choices involved in editing the videos. The responders also felt that more information about the facilitator’s role and the methodologies applied during the workshops themselves. Focus was given on the video aspect of the PD, diminishing the level of detail presented about the interactions between the facilitator and the teachers.

Finally, some responders mentioned the desire of more information about how these video-based PDs compare to other non-video-based PDs the teachers have already experienced. In general we can see that teachers are satisfied with the results of this kind of PD but no information is given about what specifically they perceived as different and better about this methodology. One glimpse into this comparative notion is given by a teacher in the control group in the DVC study, who says that they would have desired more direct feedback. The teachers in the study did not report this having watched videos of their own practice and reflected upon them.

I personally found that this exercise was of surmount importance to gain new lenses in the papers we read. It is fascinating how each person notices, deems relevant, and draw different information from the same source material. Clearly previous knowledge, experiences, and context transform the lenses through which each one of us sees the world. Being exposed to these different lenses enhances and expands our own understanding. In addition, reacting to these responses engages us even further with the topic and helps us see patterns we might have not noticed before. In this sense, I believe that video-based PD is an exemplar method of achieving the desired learning objectives with teachers. Videos present a concrete source of information and basis for reflection that is powerful, objective, direct, and close to one’s own practice. Obviously well guided facilitation for the reflection process is required, as in any learning experience, yet I believe that once a teacher becomes aware of how to analyze videos, self-guided learning may happen voluntarily.

Response 1/5

Gaudin and Chaliès (2015) conceptualize the process of video viewing in professional development (PD) in the following four broad categories:

    1. Teachers’ activity as they view a classroom video (e.g. view video with selective attention; and view video and knowledge based reasoning).
    2. Objectives of video viewing in the PD context (e.g. build knowledge on “how to interpret and reflect”; build knowledge on “what to do”; hybrid approach; and objectives based on learning goals).
    3. Types of videos viewed (e.g. unknown teacher activity, peer activity, own practice, selecting and organizing videos in line with learning goals and contexts).
    4. Effects of video viewing on teacher education and professional development (e.g. teacher motivation, cognition, classroom practice, recommendations for effective video viewing).

In the context of Guadin and Chaliès’ (2015) work, van Es and Sherin (2009) “video club” is a case viewing video with selective attention with a primary focus of “learning to notice” student ideas in elementary math classrooms. This one year video club PD program considered both the participants’ own practice and the practice of their peers as the PD / research team captured classroom teacher of participants and created experiences for teacher participants in meeting this teacher learning goal. The research team had set out to capture how this type of video club would influence teachers’ thinking and practice and was able to capture changes in both teachers’ thinking and practice over the course of the project. The were able to capture how teachers “made space for students’ thinking, … more frequently probed students’ thinking, and … took on the stance of the learning in the context of teaching” (p. 169).

As I read the van Es and Sherin (2009) work, I wanted to know more about how the facilitators designed the content and processes of the PD in the context of the elementary math knowledge, processes, and dispositions that were expected in each of these classrooms. There was little mention as to how the videos were edited, the types of questions that were used to facilitate teachers’ journeys toward the learning goals—which themselves are on the vague side. Noticing student ideas and providing opportunities for students to express them is certainly a step for teachers to understand how students are approaching the mathematics, but it is unclear whether through this video club participation, teachers were developing knowledge as to how to move students along the learning continuum. I think about Schoenfeld and Floden’s “Teaching for Rubust Understanding in Mathematics” dimensions and am searching for greater clarity as to how van Es and Sherin (2009) think about how teachers consider the mathematics, the cognitive demand, the access to mathematical content, students’ agency, authority, and identify, and use of assessment practices in shaping their practice and how students learn math. I’m also curious as to how this particular PD experience coheres or conflicts with other PD experiences that teachers have taken part of and how that knowledge shapes their beliefs and actions over the course of the project period.

Response 2/5

In the following paragraphs I offer an analysis of Gröschner, Kiemer and colleagues’ Dialogic Video-Cycle (DVC) through the lens of Gaudin et al.’s four-principle conceptualization of how video viewing is used in teacher PD. In each area, we can see close alignment between the DVC model and what Gaudin et al. point to in their research analysis as best PD practices regarding video use.

The nature of teachers’ activity as they view a classroom video

In their video viewing conceptualization, Gaudin et al. (2015) point to selective attention as a key component of productive teacher video viewing activity. The video viewing structure in Gröschner, Kiemer and colleagues’ DVC model very much supported selective attention by designating a specific focus during each analysis session. In the first video analysis and reflection session, for example, (workshop 2 of each DVC cycle) the facilitator selected clips and posed questions that guided the participants to focus on the ways in which the teacher in the video activated student engagement. In the second analysis and reflection session (workshop 3 of each DVC cycle) facilitators used video clips from the same lessons, but this time guided the participants’ attention to the ways in which the teacher scaffolded student ideas. This guiding of attention is very much in keeping with Gaudin et al.’s description of selective attention during video viewing.

Gaudin et al. (2015) explain that another important aspect of video viewing during PD is knowledge-based reasoning. The extent to which the teachers in the DVC study exercised knowledge based reasoning during their video viewing is less clear than the selective attention component due to the authors’ somewhat limited description of the actual analysis conversations themselves. We can, however, infer from the few example questions, and the authors’ mention of teachers posing solutions and alternatives, that teachers engaged in description, interpretation, and prediction while watching and discussing the videos. These are in keeping with Gaudin et al.’s description of “first level” reasoning. The structure of the DVCs also suggests that teachers had the opportunity to engage in “second level” reasoning (comparing visualized events with previous events). During the first cycle, they would have had the opportunity to connect and compare what they saw in the video with their own past practice. During the second DVC, the teachers would have had the, perhaps more explicit, opportunity to compare what they observed in the second videos with what they saw in the first videos. Whether, however, the facilitators deliberately capitalized on these opportunities for comparison remains unknown.

Objectives of video viewing in teacher education and professional development.

Gaudin et al. (2015) point to three major objectives for using videos during teacher PD. One is to model how to implement a practice (for example, were a video used in session 1 of the DVC process it quite likely would have been in this camp). A second objective is to teach participants how to interpret and reflect on practice. And the third is a hybrid of the two. In that they were used in more of a problem solving capacity – as examples, rather than exemplars – the videos used in the DVC reflect the objective of learning how to interpret and reflect. If, however, we consider the overarching goals of the DVC, along with the two-cycle structure, the objective of watching the videos becomes more of a hybrid. The teachers were asked to interpret and reflect on what occurred in the videos in the service of refining their practice for the second cycle (and beyond). Though no videos were specifically chosen as exemplars, it is conceivable that exemplary practice might have surfaced in the variety of clips observed. This suggests the possibility that the same videos could have been used to build capacity for best practice (the “normative” objective), as well as reflecting and interpreting (“developmentalist” objective) throughout the DVC process.

The nature of classroom videos viewed in teacher education and professional development  – and –
The effects of video viewing on teacher education and professional development

Gaudin et al. (2015) describe three types of videos that can be made available for viewing: videos that feature unknown teachers, peers, or one’s own activity. While they point to research that explores the advantages and disadvantages of each type, they emphasize that watching peer and self videos may be the most productive in that they encourage teachers to “ ‘know and recognize’ themselves” (Leblanc, 2012 as cited in Gaudin et al., 2015, p.51) and “‘move toward’ new and more satisfactory ways of teaching” (Gaudin et al. 2015, p.51). In the DVCs, the teachers watched videos of themselves and their peers conducting specific lessons and were guided to identify and reflect upon the effectiveness of the observed strategies for classroom discourse. The results of their approach mirror the affordances that Gaudin et al. describe, particularly in the area of teacher motivation. In Gröschner et al.’s final round table discussion, for example, teachers who had enrolled in the more traditional PD, in which videos were not viewed, expressed a desire for more direct feedback on their own teaching. In contrast, teachers who had participated in the DVC were satisfied with this element of their experience. In their final analysis, Gröschner et al. found teachers in the DVC group had stronger feelings of competence and satisfaction than those in the control group, which aligns with what Gaudin et al. describe in their analysis of similar research on this topic.

Response 3/5

Gaudin and Chaliès discuss four aspects of video viewing as a strategy for teacher professional development: “the nature of teachers’ activity as they view classroom videos,” “the objectives of video viewing in teacher education and professional development,” “the type of video viewed in teacher education and professional development,” and “the effects of video viewing on teacher education and professional development.” Here we want to consider the Kiemer and Gröschner, et al. study of a PD intervention constructed around video viewing through these four lenses.

With respect to the nature of teachers’ activity, Gaudin and Chaliès look for active, rather than passive, engagement with the video. In particular, they prioritize evidence of selective attention and knowledge-based reasoning. Kiemer and Gröschner do not provide much information about the interactions that took place in the course of their workshops, focusing instead on the evolution of teachers’ answers to questions on the pre-, mid- and post- questionnaires that surrounded the workshops themselves, as well as on the effects of the PD after its conclusion. They do however, talk about wanting to engage the teachers in the same ways that they hope the teachers will go on to engage their students, so they have an activity designed to “active students verbally and to clarify discourse rights” and one to “scaffold students’ ideas.” It is unclear what the content of discussions during those activities was, but from the later feedback sections, it seems that teachers felt they were being given “tips and suggestions about things you can change quickly” which sounds like less of a constructivist/cognitive dissonance approach (which might focus first of selective attention), and more of a knowledge-based reasoning focus (looking at what the teacher does in the video to reason through, and get feedback on, what he or she could do to be more effective).

The objectives of video viewing in the Kiemer and Gröschner study are more clear. They want to help teachers build productive classroom discourse, through open-ended questions and feedback, in order to promote student interest, and thus motivation and learning outcomes. This goal seems to fall into Gaudin and Chaliès’s “normative” bucket, helping teachers to reflect on and develop their practice not with the intent of promoting ongoing self-directed reflection, but rather with a focus on leading teachers to come away with intent and strategies for leading student discussions more “correctly.” On the other hand, they do look at teachers’ perceived autonomy, suggesting an interest in their self-guided learning, yet their desired outcomes are all stated in terms of changes in teacher practice and in student outcomes. Additionally, the videos are all certainly “examples, not exemplars” so they are not shown as “what to do” videos, but are nonetheless used as a jumping off point for discussions of “what to do.”

Next, the nature of the classroom videos are again quite clear. Kiemer and Gröschner use videos of the teacher participants themselves, so, presumably, the teachers see videos of themselves as a main focus but also video of their peers who are also participating in the same workshops. The workshops provide the community of support recommended for viewing videos of one’s own teaching, as well as the atmosphere of productive discourse that is scaffolded by the facilitator. The facilitator also pre-selects the clips from the videos to be watched in the workshop, reflecting the need described by Gaudin and Chaliès for more preparation and scaffolding that when watching others teacher. As all of the participants are mid-career teachers, rather than student teachers, using videos of the teachers themselves also fits into Gaudin and Chaliès’s “continuum of teacher professionalization” which suggests that they are ready for such introspection even while earlier career teachers might not be.

Finally, Gaudin and Chaliès see common effects of video viewing as enhancing teacher motivation and teachers’ selective attention and they make particular note of the fact that “little empirical evidence has been presented on how video use benefits actual classroom practice.” Yet, Kiemer and Gröschner’s second article specifically explores the effect of the PD intervention on teacher practices and student interest and motivation, which they also acknowledge as being unique among research papers in this field. For the most part, they do find positive outcomes relative to their objectives. Teachers used feedback more effectively to promote student discourse in their classes and students were found to have more interest, as well as sense of autonomy and competence. Gaudin and Chaliès’s discussion of indirect evidence about teacher practices and student outcomes (as well as their direct mention of Kiemer and Gröschner’s study in this section) suggests that these findings are in line with Gaudin and Chaliès’s ideals for the effects of video viewing in a successful PD intervention.

Response 4/5

Gaudin and Chaliès (2015) analyzed and categorized 255 studies of the use of video in professional development along the following four dimensions: 1) the nature of the activity teachers engage in when viewing video during professional development, 2) the goals of having teachers view such video, 3) the types of video used, and 4) the effects of viewing video in professional development. Using this four-part conceptualization, one can analyze and summarize any program of professional development, including that known as the “Dialogic Video Cycle” or DVC (Gröschner et. al, 2014; Kiemer et. al, 2015).

The Dialogic Video Cycle is a professional development program that uses video to support teachers in shifting the nature of the discourse in their classrooms. The DVC consists of two cycles of professional development, each of which is comprised of three workshops. In the first workshop, teachers work in collaboration with one another in modifying a lesson plan that they then implement in their classrooms. Implementation of this modified lesson plan is filmed in each teacher’s classroom. Clips from these video records are then selected by the DVC facilitator and shown to teachers in the second and third workshops of the DVC. In workshop #2, teachers focus on the types of questions posed by teachers to students in the videos viewed, paying particular attention to whether the questions posed are either open (e.g., what do you think happens if we heat it up?) or closed (e.g., do we have any right angles here?). In workshop #3, on the other hand, teachers are asked to focus on the sorts of feedback provided by teachers to students in the videos, as well as share ideas for how to take up students’ correct and incorrect answers. The second cycle of the DVC consists of three similar such workshops that revolve around the teaching of a different lesson plan.

While teachers in the DVC do not select the video clips viewed in workshops #2 and #3, consistent with the core features of effective professional development (Desimone, 2009), they play an active role in this particular program. Throughout both workshops, teachers are asked a series of questions by the professional development facilitator and are generally encouraged to reflect on their experience delivering the lesson that was filmed. Additionally, teachers are encouraged to ask clarification questions of the teacher in the video being viewed, which that teacher can then respond to by providing necessary explanations or describing contextual factors in greater depth.

The objective of engaging teachers in the DVC professional development program was to support them in moving towards a more dialogic model of discourse, in which both teachers and students co-construct meaning together. This objective was pursued as dialogic classrooms are believed to do better at enhancing students’ interest in relevant subject matter than classrooms in which the teacher adopts a more didactic, uni-directional pattern of discourse (Kiemer et. al, 2015). As such, the primary objective of this PD program, to encourage teachers to change their discursive practices, was pursued as success in meeting this primary objective was expected to result in success in meeting the second objective, enhancing students’ interest in their learning.

The video viewed by teachers in the DVC consists of records of the teachers themselves teaching a lesson they had modified previously in collaboration with one another. Specifically, teachers view video-clips selected “on the basis of the criteria of productive classroom discourse” (Kiemer et. al, 2015, p. 96). Stated differently, selected video-clips are chosen as they will presumably engender rich conversation among teachers about both the questioning behaviour of teachers in the video viewed (workshop #2) and the nature of the feedback provided by teachers in response to student contributions (workshop #3).

According to Kiemer et. al (2015), as a result of the DVC professional development, teachers’ practice did, as hypothesized, change in notable ways. While teachers did not come to ask more open-ended questions as a result of having taken part in the DVC, they did demonstrate significant improvement with regards to the type of feedback provided to students. At the conclusion of the DVC, teachers who took part in this particular development program provided less feedback that simply told students if an answer they had given to some question was right or wrong (i.e., simple feedback) and increasingly gave feedback that highlighted what was right or wrong about an answer, as well as how such an answer could be improved (i.e., constructive feedback). Additionally and as expected, students in the classrooms of teachers who participated in the DVC PD demonstrated an increased interest in the subjects that their teachers came to teach in a more dialogic manner (Kiemer et. al, 2015).

Response 5/5

The implementation of what van Es and Sherin (2009) call “video clubs” has elements that can be critiqued by Gauding & Chaliès’s (2015) four main conceptualizations of the use of video viewing in professional development. The video clubs are an example of using all four principles in varying degrees, but van Es and Sherin note that the focus was on analyzing student thinking rather than implementation of new methods or changing of teachers’ beliefs (p. 159). This focus for the video clubs has both affordances and limitations when analyzing it against the four principles framed by Gaudin and Chaliès.

First, the nature of the teacher activity while viewing the videos did have a specific focus on describing what they identified as student thinking and gave the teachers a structure to interpret using evidence. Attention to this principle was analyzed and showed some of the highest learning opportunity for teachers. In fact, Gaudin and Chaliès highlighted video clubs as a model for the elements that contributed to increasing a teacher’s capacity to reason (p. 46).

Second, video clubs had specific objectives in the professional development around student thinking. However, the paper did not report whether the researcher had in mind the objective of “best practices.” The clips were selected for the “potential to foster productive discussions of student mathematical thinking” (van Es & Sherin, 2009, p. 160), but it was not clear whether there was attention to the practices that may have attributed to higher levels of discourse around a problem. As van Es and Sherin report an increase teachers attending to student thinking in their analysis, it was not clear whether their learning goal of focusing on student thinking could have been better served by having teachers critically discuss the practices that are associated with student thinking. In this, it is not clear whether a hybrid objective could have better served their main focus.

Third, Gaudin and Chaliès note the limitations of having teachers analyze peer’s professional practice (p. 51). In video clubs, the analysis does show a shift in focus of the student in discussions, but it is difficult to infer whether watching a peer could have dampened the depth of these discussions. It was also not clear how teachers might have been scaffolded into watching each other or whether there were practices that could have been critiqued to further increase teacher’s perceptions of student thinking. Gaudin and Chaliès features studies that conclude that first videos should be selected and organized by viewing an unknown teacher (p. 52). Mainly, the video clubs go directly into viewing peer videos, and it could have had an effect on the shift in the conversations and depth of teacher analysis that they are reporting in their study.

Fourth, van Es and Sherin do show an association between video clubs and practices such as the following: attention to student thinking while teaching, knowledge of curriculum, changes in teachers’ instructional practices, and opportunities for student thinking. Although not all the aspects of the effects of video viewing that Gaudin and Chaliès discuss are explicitly addressed in video clubs, there does seem to be an increase in the teachers’ motivation and cognitive abilities. For example, some teachers report learning more about the curriculum and others “positioning themselves as learners in the classroom” (p. 171).

In all, although I may be looking at aspects that are not considered in video clubs proposed by the four conceptualizations, overall the video clubs have a design and many outcomes that are sound when analyzed from Gaudin and Chaliès’s framework. I found video clubs as having a good base for future professional development programs using video viewing. Considering the four principles, fine-tuning video clubs could have great promise for teacher learning.

Teacher PD – Week 5 – Class Notes

PD Design of DVC (Dialogic Video Cycle)

  • 2 groups – intervention group & control group
  • Cycle of 3 events and then repeated
  • Did not see so much about the “Prediction”

Video Clubs (Van Es)


  • noticing student thinking
  • confusion evidence to evidence it and engage in the videos
  • discourses of noticing – noticing framework
  • 1 year – 7 interventions – self selected
  • focused on student thinking rather than content
  • looked at comments while watching the videos
  • self-reports focused on how much they elicit student thinking
  • more developmental vs normative video use
  • looked at peer videos

Research Methods

  • research question was very open
  • who video-clubs would influence:
    • teacher’s thinking about student’s learning
    • looking at teacher as learner
  • video taped PD itself – transcripts
    • fine-grained analysis
      • actor – object of focus
      • topic – what were they talked about
      • stance – what type of discourse they engaged in
      • video based or non video based evidence
    • Results
      • teacher’s views shifted
        • actor – more about student than the teacher
        • topic – from classroom management to mathematical thinking
        • stance – from evaluation to evidence based discussion
      • classroom instruction were also video taped
        • coded for student and whole group discussions
        • changes in instruction
          • made space for student thinking
          • publicly demonstrated student learning
          • probed students for more evidence
          • learning about teaching
      • teacher exit interviews
        • chances in thinking and practice
          • look at student thinking
          • attending to student thinking
          • own school curriculum

Reading for Week 6 – Roth & NARST

Teacher PD – Week 5 – Reading Notes

Borko, H., Jacobs, J., Seago, N. & Mangram, C. (2014). Facilitating video-based professional development: Planning and orchestrating productive discussions. In Y. Li, E.A.Silver & S. Li (Eds.) Transforming mathematics instruction: Multiple approaches and practices (pp. 259-281). Dordrecht: Springer.

  • Use of video to discuss the teaching practice
  • Video watching must be skillfully guided
    • “To successfully lead such discussions requires that teachers have deeps knowledge of the relevant content, of student thinking about that content, and of instructional moves that are likely to guide the discussion in fruitful directions.” (Borko, Jacobs, Seago, & Mangram, 2014, p.261)
  • Best practices
    • Anticipating student responses
    • Monitoring their thinking
    • Selecting approaches for the class to explore
    • Sequencing student’s shared work
    • Connecting student responses to one another and to key ideas
  • Three decision points when planning a video-based discussion
    • Determine goals of discussion and select video clips
    • Identify goal relevant features of the video clip
    • Create questions to guide the discussion
  • Three practices for orchestrating productive discussions
    • Think about lesson segment
    • Probe for evidences of their claims
    • Connect analysis to key mathematical and pedagogical ideas
  • Content accompanying video for PD facilitators
    • Time-coded transcript
    • Lesson graph
    • Guiding questions to ask
    • Notes on the clip
      • “Back pocket” questions
      • Mathematical support
      • Cautionary notes
  • The need for a PD for PD facilitators

Gaudin, C., & Chaliès, S. (2015). Video viewing in teacher education and professional development: A literature review. Educational Research Review, 16, 41-67.

  • The need for facilitation in video-based PD
    • “How can teaching teachers to identify and interpret relevant classroom events on video clips improve their capacity to perform the same activities in the classroom?” (Gaudin & Chaliès, 2015, p.41)
  • Teachers must be trained to identify relevant events
    • “Most authors agree that enriching selective attention should be an objective of both teacher education and professional development. Indeed, both PTs and ITs suffer from an inability to identify relevant classroom events without training and focus.” (Gaudin & Chaliès, 2015, p.46)
  • Teachers must be able to
    • Describe
    • Explain
    • Predict
  • “Disposition to notice” and “capacities to reason”
  • Objectives of video viewing in teacher education and professional development
    • Show example of good teaching practices
    • Show characteristic professional situations
    • Analyze the diversity of classroom practices from different perspectives
    • Stimulate personal reflections
    • Guide/coach teaching
    • Evaluate competencies
  • Two main categories of video use
    • Developmentalist – how to interpret and reflect on classroom practices
    • Normative – what to do in the classroom
  • Select videos of “‘examples’ not ‘exemplars’”
  • Videos of
    • unknown teacher activity
    • peer activity
    • own practice
  • Effect of video viewing in TE & PD
    • Motivation
    • Cognition
    • Classroom practice

Gröschner, A., Seidel, T., Kiemer, K., & Pehmer, A.-K. (2014). Through the lens of teacher professional development components: The ‘Dialogic Video Cycle’ as an innovative program to foster classroom video. Professional Development in Education, DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2014.939692

  • How to teach “Productive classroom dialogue”
    • “Productive classroom dialogue refers to approaches to classroom communication in which teacher and students, through purposeful classroom talk, engage in a continual process of the co-construction of knowledge (Wells and Arauz 2006, Mercer and Littleton 2007, Alexander 2008).” (Gröschner, Seidel, Kiemer, & Pehmer, 2014, p.2)
  • Effective components of professional development
    • Content focus
    • Active learning
    • Collective participation
    • Duration
    • Coherence
  • Self-determination Theory (SDT)
    • “teachers’ abilities to foster perceptions of autonomy, competence and (social) relatedness.” (Gröschner, Seidel, Kiemer, & Pehmer, 2014, p.8)
    • “In the field of PD and workplace learning, studies found that autonomous motivation also supports job satisfaction and predicts the quality of transfer of PD experiences in daily work (Gegenfurtner et al. 2009).” (Gröschner, Seidel, Kiemer, & Pehmer, 2014, p.8)
  • Problem-Solving Cycle (PSC)
    • Iterative, long-term PD approach (Borko) focused on CK and PCK
  • Dialogic Video Cycle (DVC)
    • Builds upon PSC model
    • Focuses on verbal interactions between teachers and students
    • “In the DVC the focus is on the implementation of the two activities student activation and clarifying discourse rights and scaffolding student ideas and feedback (Walshaw and Anthony 2008). By helping teachers implement both activities in the classroom, the DVC aims to change the perspective of teachers towards engaging students in classroom dialogue and to support student learning processes.” (Gröschner, Seidel, Kiemer, & Pehmer, 2014, p.9)
  • “Therefore, through the lens of teacher PD components, video-based reflections as well as collaborative learning opportunities seem to be crucial aspects for teacher learning.” (Gröschner, Seidel, Kiemer, & Pehmer, 2014, p.25)

Kiemer, K., Gröschner, A., Pehmer, A.-K., & Seidel, T. (2015). Effects of a classroom discourse intervention on teachers’ practice and students’ motivation to learn mathematics and science. Learning and Instruction, 35, 94-103.

  • Motivation to learn
    • “Motivational concepts such as interest in the subject are important outcomes of educational processes (Krapp & Prenzel, 2011) and are key elements regarding the young generations’ preparedness for life-long learning as a core-skill in knowledge-based societies.” (Kiemer, Gröschner, Pehmer, & Seidel, 2015, p. 94)
  • DVC worked
    • “This study shows that after successful implementation (Gro€schner, Seidel, Kiemer, et al., 2014), the video-based TPD approach of the DVC was effective in changing teachers’ behaviour towards more productive classroom discourse.” (Kiemer, Gröschner, Pehmer, & Seidel, 2015, p.101)
    • “The results of this study further show positive changes in students’ experiences of autonomy, competence and social relatedness as well as intrinsic learning motivation, when their teachers participated in the DVC intervention.” (Kiemer, Gröschner, Pehmer, & Seidel, 2015, p.101)
    • “The results demonstrate the importance of productive classroom discourse in promoting positive learning outcomes for students’ motivational orientations and its role in fostering student interest in STEM subjects.” (Kiemer, Gröschner, Pehmer, & Seidel, 2015, p.101)

Teacher PD – Week 4 – Class Notes

Today we went over the research papers we read about Math PD. We reconstructed the LHS framework through the lens of different researchers – hard mental exercice but gave us a good grip on the different foci each one has.

  • Differentiation amongst teachers
    • “Students of treatment teachers whose mathematics knowledge was below that threshold did worse than students of control teachers with comparable knowledge.” (Givvin & Santagata, 2011, p.445)
  • Requirement to do the PD
    • Research
      • + More data
      • – Less engagement
  • Change from one year to the other
  • Pre-diagnose the teachers




Teacher PD – Week 4 – Reading Notes

Givvin, K.B. & Santagata, R. (2011). Toward a common language for discussing the features of effective professional development: the case of a US mathematics program, Professional Development in Education, 37:3, 439-451

  • Paper on decisions made in a math PD program in low-performing urban schools
  • Consensus of desirable features
    • Increasing teacher’s PCK
    • Ample time
    • COP
  • Lacks guides for practice
  • Driven by
    • well-defined image of effective classroom learning and teaching
    • provides opportunities for teachers to build their PCK
    • provides opportunities for teachers to examine practice
    • research based
    • engages teachers as adult learners in the learning approaches they will use with their students
    • provides opportunities for teachers to collaborate with colleagues and other experts to improve their practice
    • supports teachers to serve in leadership roles
    • links other parts of the education system
    • has a design based on student learning data
    • continuously evaluated and improved.
  • Teaching math
    • teaching underlying concepts vs procedural trick lead to better learning outcomes
  • Beliefs in teaching methodology
    • “Some teachers (and participating administrators) held firmly to the belief that demonstrating problems and allowing time to practice them was the ideal, and in PD sessions they argued (sometimes vehemently) for this more traditional form of instruction.” (Givvin & Santagata, 2011, p.444)
  • PD affected negatively teachers with poor content knowledge
    • “Students of treatment teachers whose mathematics knowledge was below that threshold did worse than students of control teachers with comparable knowledge.” (Givvin & Santagata, 2011, p.445)
  • Assessing for understanding is much harder
    • “analysis of student work for understanding was novel (and difficult) for all participants. Teachers were accustomed to assessing quality of student work only in terms of correctness (Santagata 2009).” (Givvin & Santagata, 2011, p.445)
  • Sharing teaching practices is not common
    • “We found that participating teachers had little experience of collaborating to improve practice…” (Givvin & Santagata, 2011, p.446)
  • Suggestions for future PD programs
    • Spend ample time developing a shared image of desired practices.
    • Pay attention to teachers’ thinking so that their individual needs can be met (Gersten et al. 1995, Putnam and Borko 1997, Wilson and Berne 1999)
    • Teachers need to learn how to collaborate.

Loucks-Horsley, S., Stiles, K. E., Mundry, S., Love, N., & Hewson, P. W. (2009). Chapter 1: A framework for designing professional development. Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics. Corwin Press, 17-58

  • Framework for PD
  • Inputs into the design process
    • Knowledge and beliefs
      • Learners and learning
      • Teachers and teaching
      • The Nature of Science and Mathematics
      • Adult Learning and Professional Development
      • The Change Process
    • Context
      • Students and Their Learning Needs
      • Teacher and Their Learning Needs
      • Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment Practices, and the Learning Environment
      • Organizational Culture and Professional Learning Communities
      • Leadership
      • National, State, and Local Policies
      • Families and Communities
    • Critical issues
      • Building capacity for Sustainability
      • Making Time for Professional Development
      • Developing Leadership
      • Ensuring Equity
      • Building a Professional Learning Culture
      • Garnering Public Support
      • Scaling Up
    • Strategies for Professional Learning
      • Immersion in Content, Standards, and Research
        • Curriculum Topic Study
        • Immersion in Inquiry in Science and Problem Solving Mathematics
        • Content Courses
      • Examining Teaching and Learning
        • Examining Student Work and Thinking
        • Demonstration Lessons
        • Lesson Study
        • Action Research
        • Case Discussion
        • Coaching
        • Mentoring
      • Aligning and Implementing Curriculum
        • Instructional Materials Selection
        • Curriculum Implementation
      • Professional Development Structures
        • Study Groups
        • Workshops, Institutes, and Seminars
        • Professional Networks
        • Online Professional Development
  • The Design and Implementation Process
    • Commit to Vision and Standards
    • Analyze Student Learning and Other Data
    • Set Goals
    • Plan
    • Do
    • Evaluate Results
    • Reflect and Revise

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 10.14.03 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-23 at 10.13.12 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-23 at 10.13.44 PM

Santagata, R. (2009). Designing video-based professional development for mathematics teachers in low-performing schools. Journal of Teacher Education, 60, 38-51

  • Problematic topics
    • Basic understanding of target mathematics topics
    • Knowledge of their students’ understanding
    • Ability to analyze students’ work and reasoning beyond classification into right and wrong answers.
  • Video-based PD
    • Attending to content-specific understanding
    • Scaffolding analysis of student thinking
    • Modeling a discourse of inquiry and reflection on the teaching and learning process
  • Teacher’s beliefs in low-performing schools
    • They do not think they are able to affect students’ learning.
    • They tend to have low expectations for their students.
    • They are more likely to hold an emergency creden- tial or being asked to teach outside their subject matter area
    • Pressured to improve students’ performance on standardized tests
  • Failures
    • “As professional development designers and facilitators, we overestimated our teachers’ abilities to analyze the teaching and learning process through a content lens.” (Santagata, 2009, p.50)
  • Improvements
    • Content-focused questions became more specific
    • Questions focused on common students’ misconceptions were introduced
    • Facilitators’ planning notes became more structured and the organization of teachers’ interactions was modified to include some work in pairs
    • Guidance in the analysis of student learning from the videotaped lesson was increased
  • Resulting principles
    • Attending to content-specific understanding
    • Scaffolding analysis of student thinking
    • Modeling a discourse of inquiry and reflection on the teaching and learning process

Santagata, R., Kersting, N., Givving, K.B., & Stigler, J.W. (2011). Problem implementation as a lever for change: an experimental study of the effects of a professional development program on students’ mathematics learning. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 4(1), 1-24

  • Math education is poor due to the teacher’s lack of deep content knowledge
  • PD efforts must supplement these skills not acquired in credential preparation
  • Teachers in better performing countries are able to engage students with the underlying principles
    • “Teachers in higher achieving countries appeared able to implement mathematical problems in a deeper way, using problems as a means of engaging students with core mathematical concepts. Teachers in the United States, in contrast, tended to reduce all problems to sets of procedures that required students only to execute routine steps.” (Santagata, Kersting, Givving, & Stigler, 2011, p.2)
  • Barriers to teaching math by “making the connection”
    • Lack of content and pedagogical content knowledge
    • Lack of models (i.e., knowledge of alternative instructional strategies and how to implement them in the classroom)
    • Lack of contextual support (e.g., instructional materials that support effective use of “making connection” problems)
  • Designed PD with 3 modules
    • Content exploration
    • Lesson analysis
    • Link to practice
  • Results
    • Teachers had a hard time applying what they learned in the classroom
    • Follow-up meetings were not taking seriously – constant rescheduling and mostly no preparation for them
    • Lack of support from administration hindered application of learned concepts
      • They did not trust the teaching for understanding methodology and asked teachers to focus on procedures and test taking techniques once the testing period came along.
  • Teacher profile in low-income areas
    • 67% were fully credentialed
    • 4% held or were in the progress of obtaining a single-subject credential
    • 9% were mathematics majors or minors in college
  • Need to focus on previous knowledge
    • “As a field, we need to conduct more research on middle school teachers’ understanding of key concepts of the mathematics curriculum, so PD developers and researchers can build on that knowledge base to design effective PD.” (Santagata, Kersting, Givving, & Stigler, 2011, p.19)

Teacher PD – Week 2 – Class Notes

Rich discussion in class about the readings – what is are the core features and goals of transformative PD.

  • Focus on:
    • Classroom practice
    • Teaching and learning of subject matter (PCK)
    • Student learning processes in specific subject matters
  • Active and inquiry based
  • Collaborative learning
    • Involvement of outside experts
  • Duration and sustainability
    • On-going support
    • Follow-up
  • Coherence
  • School’s organizational conditions
  • Think about learning vs learing about thinking
  • Research-based instructional practices
    • Opportunities for teachers to adopt practices to their unique context



Teacher PD – Week 2 – Assignment – Reading Response

“What do you think are the most important goals of PD? Why are those goals so important?”

The most important goal of PD is to teach teachers how to think. Think about their teaching, how students learn, what context learning is happening in, and what content is being delivered. As defined by Thompson & Zeuli (1999), thinking relates to “using information and experience” (p.346) to “solve problems, resolve dissonances between the way they initially understand a phenomenon and new evidence that challenges that understanding” (p.346). In the same way that reformers desire to instill thinking about learning in students, PD must do the same for teachers. “But thinking to learn is different from learning to think, and it is thinking to learn we see as central to reformed practice in science and mathematics” (Thompson & Zeuli, 1999, p.350). Effective PD must create a cultural change in the profession.

Thinking about how they teach involves provoking a deep change in how teachers believe their in and out of class activities should look like. “This kind of teaching and learning would require that teachers become serious learners in and around their practice, rather than amassing strategies and activities.” (Ball, D., & Cohen, D., 1999, p.4). As exemplified by Cohen with Mrs. Oublier’s case, more often than not, teachers will pick and choose small parts of what they learn in PD and adapt them to their traditional teaching style instead of rethinking the style itself.  Yet habits die hard, thereby the need to have prolonged and sustained PD throughout the year in order to be constantly observing, learning and adjusting one’s teaching. “Professional development could be substantially improved if we could develop ways to learn and teach about practice in practice” (Ball, D., & Cohen, D., 1999, p.12).

How students learn is another facet of what PD must teach teachers to think about. Many teachers might still have the mind set of “teaching as telling and learning as remembering” (Thompson & Zeuli, 1999, p.349). This is an outdated vision that has been widely disproven by research.

“Students do not get knowledge from teachers, or books, or experience with hands-on materials. They make it by thinking, using information and experience. No thinking, no learning – at least, no conceptual learning of the kind reformers envision.”, (Thompson, C. L., & Zeuli, J. S. 1999, p.346)

The challenge here is how to teach this through PD, making teachers think about their students in a ‘novel’ way.

“The key questions for reform, then, are whether teachers understand that students must think in order to learn and whether they know how to provoke, stimulate, and support students’ thinking.” (Thompson, C. L., & Zeuli, J. S. 1999, p.349)

Not only must teachers must drive student’s thinking, they must constantly observe the progression of the classroom and adapt in real time. They must think on their feet to find better analogies, explanations or activities that support the student in learning. Therefore PD must also teach formative assessment strategies and metacognitive skills to constantly analyze their practice. This includes recording their own teaching, observe others teaching, look closely at student’s work and what responses they give in class. “Teachers would need to learn how to use what they learn about student’ work and ideas to inform and improve teaching”, (Ball, D., & Cohen, D., 1999, p.11)

PD must also have the goal of contextualizing the curriculum and program to the specific scenario it is inserted in. Ideally we would want a generic format for PD, which is foreseeably possible when talking about pedagogy, classroom management and other non-content specific items.

“In other words, the professional development efforts in every one of these investigations centered directly on enhancing teachers’ content knowledge and their pedagogic content knowledge (Shulman 1986). The activities were designed to help teachers better understand both what they teach and how students acquire specific content knowledge and skill.”, Guskey, T. R., & Yoon, K. S., 2009, p.497)

Yet research also shows that PD must be tailored for the specific content to the teacher’s area and be aligned with the teacher’s reality. Specific content aids teachers transfer the knowledge being presented during the sessions into their practice.

“This corroborates the position taken by the National Staff Development Council (2001), which argues that the most effective professional development comes not from the implementation of a particular set of “best practices,” but from the careful adaptation of varied practices to specific content, process, and context elements.”, (Guskey, T. R., & Yoon, K. S., 2009, p.497)

Not only the content must be tailored to the subject matter, but the context must be taken into consideration. Social, economic, and cultural factors certainly influence teachers’ perceptions of what teaching looks like and what is required to be able to connect and engage with students.

Another major goal of PD must be to offer continued and prolonged support for teachers. Research shows that communities of practice help teachers feed off of each other, learn from each other and support each other in further developing their skills.

“Continuing thoughtful discussion among learners and teachers is an essential element of any serious education, because it is the chief vehicle for analyst, criticism, and communication of idea, practices, and values.” (Ball, D., & Cohen, D., 1999, p.13)

These communities though, must be accompanied by the PD program to ensure that the interactions are fruitful and do not fall back into the status-quo and become a forum for lamenting the ails of the job.

“Guberman (1995) has noted how easily collegially oriented  efforts can create a ‘discussion culture’ unhinged from actual changes in classroom practice. ‘Inquiry groups’ in name can turn out to be emotional support groups in practice, valuable to the morale and mental health of participants but unlikely to effect real changes in their beliefs or knowledge.” (Thompson & Zeuli, 1999, p.353)

In part I believe, this is a reason why PD programs must offer continuous support for the teachers – to disentangle old notions and aid teachers in transforming their current practice.

In conclusion, I see the challenges of PD as not very different from the challenges in education. Once it is acknowledged that teachers are students with respect to the research available in PCK, cognition, and relevant content; PD might be transformed and become more effective as well. Therefore, the main goal of PD is the same as the goals for education: student achievement gains – one of the most complex problems humanity faces nowadays, in my opinion – and the reason why PD is so important and should be given attention as the main carrier of transformation.

“Ironically, while the role of the teacher educator is critical to any effort to change the landscape of professional development, it is a role for which few people have any preparation and in which there are few opportunities for continued learning: the is little professional development for professional developers.” (Ball, D., & Cohen, D., 1999, p. 28)


Ball, D., & Cohen, D. (1999). Toward a practice-based theory of professional education. Teaching as the Learning Profession San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Guskey, T. R., & Yoon, K. S. (2009). What works in professional development. Phi delta kappan,90(7), 495-500.

Thompson, C. L., & Zeuli, J. S. (1999). The frame and the tapestry: Standards-based reform and professional development. Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of policy and practice, 341-375.

van Driel, J. H., Meirink, J. A., Van Veen, K., & Zwart, R. C. (2012). Current trends and missing links in studies on teacher professional development in science education: a review of design features and quality of research. Studies in science education, 48(2), 129-160.