Videos as an Instructional Tool in Pre-service Science Teacher Education

Duygu Sonmez and Meral Hakverdi-Can
Ph.D. Hacettepe University, Faculty of Education.


Problem Statement: Student teaching is an integral part of teacher education. While it provides pre-service teachers with real classroom experience, though, it is limited in that it does not provide shared experience. Used as instructional tools, videos provide a shared common experience in a controlled environment to pre-service teachers in teacher education. Video use as a part of teacher education requires that student teachers be skilled in observation and ability to notice. However, in many cases, pre-service teachers’ observation skills and ability to discern the effects of different strategies are neither questioned nor investigated.

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of video use on pre-service teachers’ ability to observe and evaluate teaching practices and explore how that ability develops.

Methods: This study was conducted with the participation of 26 senior preservice science and technology teachers who were enrolled in a teacher practice course during the fall semester of their fourth-year undergraduate education program. Three different videos were used as instructional tools; participating pre-service teachers were asked to evaluate the teaching practice in each video. A three-item questionnaire was used for data collection purposes.

Findings and Results: The findings of the study suggest that, initially, preservice teachers failed to notice details and were only partially able to recognize the main features of a teaching practice. Most participant comments focused on what the teacher was doing rather than on students. As time progressed, participants’ ability to notice instructional strategies was found to be developed through use of videos.

Conclusions and Recommendations: Through use of videos, pre-service teachers’ selective attention and ability to perceive details of a teaching practice was found to be improved. Since the ability to notice is an important skill for novice teachers, based on the finding of this study, video use is recommended as a part of teacher education.

Keywords: Pre-service teacher education, video training, ability to notice teaching strategies, field experience.