Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

CONNIE HVIDSTEN

Videocases for Sci. Teaching Analysis Plus: Efficacy of a Videocase-based, Analysis of Practice Teacher Prep Prog
BSCS
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 12:15 a.m.

    Thank you for watching our video!

    We recently completed analysis of data from the ViSTA Plus program showing that early career teachers who completed the 3-year program, compared to peers at the same universities who did not participate in the ViSTA Plus program, had greater science content knowledge and scored higher in  measures of knowledge related to teaching elementary science. Students of early career teachers who participated in the ViSTA Plus Program had significantly higher science content learning compared to their peers whose teachers experienced the traditional teacher preparation program at the same universities. We are trying to figure out what aspects of the ViSTA Plus program made such a significant difference for our ViSTA Plus teachers and their students. Was the use of video analysis a key to their success?  Or were the specific teaching strategies that were highlighted in the videos the key element that promoted student learning? Or was it the consistency of support in using the strategies through methods coursework, student teaching and first year teaching? It is difficult to disentangle how each aspect of the ViSTA Plus program may have impacted our participants, and in the end may prove to be the synergy that occurs from all aspects of the program together influencing preservice teacher learning and early career practice.  

    I'm interested to hear how other researchers have teased apart the influence of various aspects of their program on their participants' ability to be successful in their early career as elementary science teachers.    

     
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    Jody Bintz
  • May 16, 2017 | 07:51 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video and the findings from your research, Connie!  I have a couple of questions:

    Is the main purpose of your videos to model exemplary practices or are there other purposes that the videos serve as well?

    In your research, how did you select teachers for the VISTA Plus program and the comparison group? How did the experiences in these two groups differ?

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    Valanna Reed

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.

    Hello Connie,

    The BSCS science teacher development program offers both methods and content development that was highly engaging and insightful. Inquiry learning strategies offer students an opportunity to connect to prior learning. Students learn to think deeply when given the opportunities to predict and explain new ideas.

    From my application of the methods and strategies, learned while participating in the BSCS program; the inquiry learning methods was most effective when facilitating science learning. 

    Thank you for the opportunity to participate.

    Valanna Reed

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    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 02:49 p.m.

    Babette, 

    Thank you for your questions!  I'm going to start with your question about the selection of teachers for the comparison and ViSTA Plus group.  We were working with two universities, each of which had multiple sections (and instructors) for the elementary methods course.  One of the instructors at each university worked with us to fully understand and implement the ViSTA Plus conceptual framework and video analysis in their courses, and the other was asked to teach their course as usual. The "business as usual" course instructors were provided the ViSTA Plus science content learning goals so their students would not be disadvantaged by not having opportunities to deepen their own understanding of our science content focus.  The students, then, were not selected, per se, but distributed between the two treatments based purely on which course they signed up for.  Then in each of the two courses, we gave students the option of participating in the research study or not. So only a portion of the students in each course (treatment and comparison) provided data for the study.  

    I love your question about the purpose of the videos!  I believe the way we structure our video analysis is one of the powerful features of this program.  During the methods course, students analyze videos from experienced teachers depicting high leverage strategies (17) intended to focus their attention on student thinking (a Student Thinking Lens) or on how instruction can support students in making links and developing coherent understanding of science concepts (a Science Content Storyline Lens).  They use transcripts of the video to hone their skill in making claims supported by evidence about the student thinking revealed and reflecting on the teacher moves in the video, and alternatives that may have improved learning opportunities for students. During participants' field work, we provide a short set of model lesson plans that richly embed the ViSTA Plus Strategies and student teachers film themselves teaching one of the lessons in the set. We met in small (4-6 participants) online study groups of student teaching peers to reflect on use of the strategies and student thinking (in 3-5 minute clips selected by the BSCS facilitator). In the final year of the program - which for most was their first year of teaching - small group teams planned a common lesson series and again filmed one of the lessons for analysis among the group.  

    So the purpose was first to introduce the strategies and develop a common vision of their potential to support student learning in the classroom, to practice focusing on student thinking and lesson coherence. Then when sharing their own classroom video, we were able to develop a culture of public reflection and continual growth. 

  • Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 02:50 p.m.

    Valanna, 

    Great to see your comment in our discussion strand!  It is wonderful to see that you continue to find value in our work together!

     

  • May 19, 2017 | 11:20 a.m.

    Thank you for your responses, Connie!  I love the fact that you are comparing the impact of your program to the experiences of a comparison group. This type of research is making such an important contribution to the knowledge base in a field (preservice STEM teacher education) where there is a dearth of rigorous research. Are there any publications yet that report your findings?

    My colleagues and I are using video as well as part of the Math for All professional development we are conducting with in-service teachers (you can see our video here: http://stemforall2017.videohall.com/presentations/1011). We have found that the power of video lies less in communicating exemplary practices, but rather in serving as an "object to think with". Video helps to ground and concretize conversations about practice and helps to train teachers eyes on better understanding how individual students think and learn (which is a key goal for our work with K-5 teachers). The comments of the teachers in your video suggest that you are very successful in doing this!

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    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 20, 2017 | 04:25 p.m.

    I took a peek at your video, Babette.  Your work looks very interesting!  I'm looking forward to talking more this summer!

  • Icon for: Sue Doubler

    Sue Doubler

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:05 p.m.

    Connie,

    In your program do you use video exemplars to provide preservice teachers with images of effective practice as well as have preservice teachers video their own teaching? If so, is there a connection between the two? Does one inform the other?

    Also, could you say more about the study in which you compared Vista program participants to business-as-usual program participants. It would be helpful to know how you decided on measures for doing your studey? 

  • Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 03:27 p.m.

    Sue,

    Yes, we use both video exemplars and preservice teachers' own video, and the timing and purposes of the use of these two types of videos is key in the program design. We use a cognitive apprenticeship model of teacher learning by situating learning in the context in which the knowledge will be used (classroom examples through video) and is guided by more knowledgeable "others" at first, with greater independence in the use of these skills, practices, and habit of mind by the new teachers over the course of the program.

    During the methods courses, the instructors as well as the experienced teachers featured in the videos provide the expertise and experiences for preservice teachers to talk about classroom problems and practices, as well as their own understanding of the science content presented. Video analysis is highly scaffolded with protocols for group processing and discussion and norms of respectful discourse about teachers, teaching, students, and student ideas. The video analysis in this early phase provides opportunities to develop a common vision of the strategies, the potential usefulness of the strategies to support student learning, and to practice participants' ability to listen and respond to student thinking.  

    As participants enter their student teaching phase, they film themselves teaching one lesson among a set of "model lessons" that we've written that provide a good first experience in teaching using ViSTA Plus strategies. In our cognitive apprenticeship model, student teachers are using the strategies, but with the significant support of the model lessons. We reflect on the common experience among the student teachers in teaching this lesson set, compare the student ideas emerging in each class, discuss alternatives that might have been used at various decision points during the lessons. The analysis is closely connected to the work they did in the methods course because the focus of the video analysis is still on student thinking and use of the strategies, based on evidence from the clip and the transcripts, and using the same discussion protocols. 

    In the first year of teaching, small groups of grade-alike participants collaboratively develop a lesson series incorporating the VisTA Plus strategies, so the expert support of model lessons is removed as the teachers continue to grow in their independent use of the strategies. Video analysis continues to be focused on the use of strategies, the science content and student ideas, and ways to build on and respond to student thinking while supporting students in constructing coherent understanding of science content. 

    As to your second question about measures in our research study.  The ViSTA Plus research is part of a 13 year line of research that includes the use of our conceptual framework, design principles, and video analysis in contexts for both preservice (ViSTA) and inservice (STeLLA) teachers.  We have been consistent throughout the line of research in our theory of teacher learning in each of these studies: increasing knowledge of a teachers' science content knowledge, knowledge of teaching practices, and ability to turn new knowledge into improved teaching practices will result in greater student learning. Therefore, we have consistently used measures with both the treatment and comparison of teacher content knowledge (a multiple choice test with some open ended response items), teachers' ability to reflect on practice (by what they notice and comment on in classroom video clips), and changes in practice (as coded based on one full class video). Students of teachers in both the treatment and comparison groups were also tested so we could understand the impact of the program on student learning - with significant positive results! (See more of the findings at https://bscs.org/bscs-vista-plus)  In the case of the ViSTA Plus program, we had significant attrition of BAU teachers in our final year as teachers moved farther from the university and got jobs in districts in which we did not have research permissions in place, so our student comparison for ViSTA Plus is based only on the data collected from the student teaching year.  

  • Icon for: Sue Doubler

    Sue Doubler

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 01:57 p.m.

    Connie,

    Could you say more about how you are helping early career teachers to listen to students' ideas and reasoning. A diagnostic stance in teaching is really important, but isn't it a big step for early career teachers as they are just learning to plan and manage classroom learning? On the other hand, perhaps this is just the time when teachers should develop this skill. I'd love to hear your thoughts based on your work with early career teachers.

     

     

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    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 19, 2017 | 07:26 p.m.

    Sue,

    Many people have wondered if early career teachers are capable of starting off with a student-thinking stance, to notice and respond to student ideas during instruction. Early scholarship implied that there were "stages" of teacher development, and early career teachers needed to begin with the basics of classroom management and routines. However, more recent scholarship (Heibert, Morris, Berk, and Jansen, 2007; Kang & Andershon, 2015, Barnhart & vanEs, 2015 among others) has pointed to the fact that teachers can learn to focus and respond to student thinking from the earliest stages in their preparation. The ViSTA Plus program follows this line of research.

    We consider (at least) two aspects of our program to support preservice teachers (PSTs) in developing essential skills in revealing and challenging student thinking.  The first is that the methods course focuses on two "lenses", a Student Thinking Lens and a Science Content Storyline lens.  These two lenses are brought to life through 17 specific strategies. We do not try to cover everything including the kitchen sink in the methods course ... just focus on these key strategies as the heart of effective science teaching. Email me if you want to see the 17 strategies in our STeLLA Conceptual Framework that we have found to be so effective!

    The second aspect of the ViSTA Program that develops a knack of being responsive to student thinking is how video is used throughout the program. Video analysis protocols introduced in the methods course require PSTs to make claims about the ideas students express in the videoclips, and use specific evidence from video transcripts to support their claims. We don't look at everything that teachers could possibly see in a video clip, but provide specific analysis questions focused on the student thinking revealed in the clip and how the STeLLA strategies created the opportunities for these ideas to be express and built on in instruction. The protocols also provide opportunities to consider alternatives to what was done in the video, alternative questions or activities that might have steered the classroom learning differently. Video analysis is done in EVERY class session, and in online homework assignments between sessions.  The methods course experiences prepare them to be analytic when viewing video clips from their own instruction (and that of their early career peers) during student teaching and their first year as professionals.  The video slows down the chaos of classroom practice in order develop habits of mind focused not only on what they are doing as a teacher, but what students are saying, thinking, and doing.  

    The teachers who completed our program pretty unanimously felt that they were better able to engage and motivate students in learning science BECAUSE of the way student ideas were the driving force behind their instruction. In the ViSTA Plus program, model lessons enacted by student teachers, and collaboratively-planned lessons enacted in the first year of teaching, are designed such that students are asked to express their ideas, probed to clarify their thinking, and challenged to link new science ideas to their previous thinking and to classroom activities. In these lessons, teachers pre-think possible ways students may be thinking (based on an understanding of common misconceptions), and pre-plan questions to have in their "back pocket" during instruction.

    The other thing I think is important as you consider the timing of learning to be responsive to student thinking as part of a teacher's learning progression is to consider how early career teachers develop an identity around who that are as a teacher. If the emphasis in teacher preparation is on how you prepare lesson plans and on classroom management, the identity that early career teachers take on is one of proficiency at these skills.  However by providing experiences that shape early career teachers to focus on student reasoning and create classrooms focused on student thinking rather than solely on students reciting "right answers", teachers define themselves and their agency, efficacy, and proficiency in teaching science much differently.  

    I'm sure you can tell from all my long-winded responses that I am convinced that the program we've designed for teachers is powerful in getting them started on the right foot as responsive teachers, reflective teachers, and teachers who see their own ongoing learning as part of their professional life. Our data on teacher and student learning backs some of these convictions!  See more about our findings at bscs.org/bscs-vista-plus.

     

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 12:37 p.m.

    I love that the teacher didn't initially realize students were capable of talking about science at a deep level, but learned that through the video analysis- have you explored what the teachers themselves feel the videos help them learn

  • Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 03:48 p.m.

    Deborah, 

    Great question!  

    We've done a qualitative analysis of some of our teacher data to help flesh out the story behind our positive quantitative results.  We used survey data collected throughout the program, reflective writing based on prompts after study group sessions, anonymous data collected by our outside evaluator, and we had the participants interview each other in a "Story Corp"-type narrative interview using audio recorders at the end of the program.  

    The most common thing teachers mentioned was that they developed confidence in their science content knowledge (less fear of science content). The videos provided the context through which we discuss the participants' own understanding of science content in view of what ideas their students bring to the table - so starting a conversation about what a student is saying in video and bringing it around to how participants make sense of these ideas is at times less threatening than directly approaching science content learning for participants.

    Teachers also mentioned at the end of the program how they see others at their schools teaching science as individual "fun" activities, or as dreadful text-based lessons or lessons focused solely on academic language and test preparation.  Many commented that they felt they had a better grasp of how to plan coherent lessons with targeted learning goals - and much of this learning was based on the discussions we had about the connections students were making within and across lessons in the videos when they had a main learning goal, a focus question, and opportunities for students to summarize and synthesize their learning during instruction. Some of the most powerful discussion came when we showed non-examples of typical classroom teaching that could then be contrasted with an exemplary clip.

    The third common thread among the participant comments was that through video analysis they improved not only their own ability to ask probing and challenging questions, but they were better able to USE the information they learned about student thinking to be more responsive in their instruction so their use of questions built on student ideas and guided students to scientific understanding, rather than simply telling students the "right answers" or filling in the blanks with correct vocabulary terms. 

    I get excited by these comments from teachers! We also analyzed what the teachers said about their students' learning.  Here are some of the highlights:

    • Students learned to express their own thinking, not just right answers.
    • Engaging in science through reasoning, rather than being told, supported students’ identities and self efficacy for academic work.
    • Students were engaged and motivated for science learning.

     

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    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 03:50 p.m.

    Deborah, 

    I know you've done some similar work around coherence and  video analysis.  I'd love to hear how you have studied what your preservice teachers learn from video analysis, and how video analysis has impacted their practice! 

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 03:56 p.m.

    We haven't used videos, but have implemented a practicum as part of our PD. The teachers experience lesson coherence 'live', so to speak-- though I think videos could be just as powerful! Teachers often comment that the lessons they plan using a conceptual storyline tool we developed seem to match kids' thinking-- the questions students ask are often the next thing teachers have planned to investigate :)

    Can you talk more about how you connect the idea of a storyline to your videos?

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    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 05:52 p.m.

    In the ViSTA Plus program we have 9 specific strategies to bring coherence both within and across lessons.  Some have to do with structuring a lesson to make links between key science ideas students are drawing on across lessons, or to link a specific activity to the science ideas students are learning.  Others frame how a lesson activity must be set-up to elicit student ideas and predictions before the activity begins, and to reconsider their initial thinking to follow-up an activity. When we analyze video around these strategies we don't watch a single clip from a lesson, but juxtapose several clips from a single lesson to identify the links made by students and the teacher, the opportunities (or missed opportunities) for students to surface and work with their ideas, the way the focus question and key science ideas are highlighted throughout the lesson, not just the beginning and end of the lesson. It is the focus on these essential strategies that help our early career teachers think about how they are supporting students in constructing coherent storylines ... not just creating coherence in the teachers' head!  I'm excited to see that you will be coming to our workshop on video analysis and the strategies in June!  We'll have more time to talk there!

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    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 09:28 a.m.

    Yes- I'm very excited to attend! I've been following this project for some time, as it approaches similar goals in different ways than ours!

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    Valanna Reed

    Graduate Student
    May 17, 2017 | 10:52 a.m.

    Hi Connie,

    what workshop?

    Valanna Reed

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    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 17, 2017 | 01:28 p.m.

    Valanna, 

    We are offering a workshop this summer for university course instructors to disseminate information about ViSTA Plus and collaborate on the best uses of video analysis in preparing new science teachers.  I'll keep you informed about any opportunities for classroom teachers (and graduate students!) coming up! 

  • Icon for: Linda Christopher

    Linda Christopher

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2017 | 12:51 p.m.

    This is such a vital program! So many pre-service teacher programs are still using out-dated pedagogy, and are forgetting the importance of building up "STEM Efficacy" in teachers so they have the confidence to conduct more complex science lessons in the classrooms

    I am excited to hear more about the results of your study, and its impact on beginning teachers’ practice and elementary students’ learning, contribute to the re-imagining of teacher education programs.  

    Will be working with other university or state  pre-service teaching programs to help them reconsider the certification process for teachers?

  • Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 17, 2017 | 02:20 p.m.

    Linda,

    We are excited to share our work with preservice elementary preparation, and our positive impacts on both teacher and student learning. We are currently working to transfer the online portions of our program ViSTA Plus to a new platform that will be more user friendly for use by others.  In the meantime, we have an older program - ViSTA - that has ready to use online modules for use in elementary methods and classroom interactions courses.  Email me (chvidsten@bscs.org) and I can provide you more information.  

  • Icon for: Brittany Adams

    Brittany Adams

    Undergraduate Student
    May 17, 2017 | 08:31 p.m.

    I love how the one interviewee talked about how well her students could communicate their ideas about science content once she showed them how to do so. Students are capable of amazing things once both students and teachers are given the proper tools! It's great that this program enables preservice teachers to become more prepared. Are the preservice teachers doing any additional additional STEM related work, such as field experiences, or do they just view the video program?

  • Icon for: Connie Hvidsten

    Connie Hvidsten

    Researcher
    May 18, 2017 | 08:48 a.m.

    Brittany, 

    Thank you for watching our video!  I agree that students are capable of amazing things once they have the opportunities, tools, and time needed to figure out how science ideas help them explain their world! 

    The two universities where we partnered to do this research had fairly traditional teacher preparation programs. Each has a single, one semester methods course for elementary science.  While the broader elementary teacher preparation program may have had additional field experiences built into other course work, there were no field experiences specifically related to the teaching of science in their existing methods courses.  In these two regions, our participants noted that they rarely saw science taught in their student teaching field placements, it was a low priority for the schools and districts in the areas around the two universities, so in some cases, this was the participants' primary exposure to the possibilities and potential for high quality science instruction in elementary classrooms.  

    Thanks for your question!

  • Icon for: Pam Pelletier

    Pam Pelletier

    Facilitator
    May 21, 2017 | 08:18 a.m.

    Connie-- Video analysis is a powerful way for teachers to visualize and contextualize good practice! I am wondering about your statement that starts at 2:02 -- you refer to planning for coherent science instruction. Would you share a bit more about this? How do you go about doing that in the program?

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