Positioning in Prospective Secondary English Teachers’ Annotations of Teaching Videos

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Video, Teacher preparation, Fieldwork, Positioning, Figured worlds

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Purpose: English education researchers have used video annotation to connect theory to practice and to encourage prospective secondary English teachers (PSETs) to reflectively evaluate their own and others’ teaching. This study aimed to examine whether and how PSETs’ annotations of their own and others’ teaching videos reveal (dis)connections between visions of English teaching valued in methods courses and those practiced in local school field placements.

Design/methodology/approach:Examination of 538 annotations on 18 lesson videos – recorded in a university teaching-methods course and in local secondary classrooms by 12 PSETs in a rural, northeastern US teacher-preparation program – revealed what kinds of practices PSETs evaluated and with whom they identified (student or teacher) as they made those evaluations.

Findings: Annotations from two PSETs illustrate a trend in the larger data sets: PSETs’ annotations expressed pedagogical values that differed and sometimes conflicted according to their identification with the role of student or of teacher. PSETs’ preferences as students were often superseded by visions of what one must do/be in the secondary English classroom.

Research limitations/implications: This study identifies tensions among PSETs’ annotations that corresponded to their identifications with the role of student or of teacher but does not explore whether and how they reconciled these tensions, or how they might affect student learning. Future research might explore how PSETs negotiate contradictions in their pedagogical preferences as they annotate their own and others’ teaching videos.

Practical implications: English teacher educators who use video-based methods might attend to whether and how such assignments/activities position PSETs as students or as teachers in viewing teaching videos.

Originality/value: PSETs may value different and even conflicting pedagogical practices, regardless of setting and despite their own experiences, based on their identifications with the role of student or of teacher. These identifications may allow them to compartmentalize visions of teaching that might otherwise come into productive conflict.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, v. 17, issue 3, p. 152-167