Journal Article

Video-based self-reflection among pre-service teachers in Ireland: A qualitative study

August 6, 2020

Education and Information Technologies

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With increased accessibility to digital video equipment, there has been notable interest in exploring how this might support practice and pedagogy across many education sectors. In recent years video has been found to offer many opportunities to study and support teacher professional development. This paper examines the potential for digital observation within initial teacher education (ITE), specifically as a tool for engaging pre-service teachers in reflective practice during school placement. The study included pre-service primary teachers in the largest teacher education centre in Ireland. A treatment group (n = 15) completed their compulsory written reflections as normal during school placement but were also provided with Swivl digital technology in order to record and reflect on their lessons using video footage. A control group (n = 20) completed their traditional written reflections as normal without the use of the digital technology. Upon the completion of school placement, in-depth qualitative interviews with both treatment and control groups (N = 35) examined experiences in using digital technologies in the classroom, and the critical reflection of their lessons during school placement. The analysis provides strong evidence that the digital video footage was highly supportive in pre-service teachers’ weekly self-reflection and in developing their self-reflective practice. They reflected on embodied and non-embodied aspects of their teaching, in the process revising their habitus as a teacher. The richness of the data provides new evidence on the potential for video technology to support teacher professional development internationally.