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Believing and Doubting a Student’s Intuitive Conjecture About Perimeter

by Shelly Sheats Harkness & Bethany Noblitt
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A student, Stuart, related perimeter to pixels and the professor, Beth, moved back and forth between reserved believing and reserved doubting and doubting teacher actions (Elbow, 1986; Harkness & Noblitt, 2017) while assessing the merit of his conjecture in the moment.  Video allowed the researchers to rewatch the episode multiple times after the moment and to attempt to believe (Elbow, 1986; 2006), or find merit or strength, in Stuart’s conjecture and then explore the mathematics that he suggested.  Within this paper the researchers “restory” (Creswell, 2012) chronologically what transpired in the moment in the classroom, their later conversations, and their after-the-moment mathematical explorations of Stuart’s conjecture.  Video can, perhaps, allow teacher educators to help preservice teachers and classroom teachers notice and reflect on missed opportunities for believing.  Video also has the potential to empower teachers to explore the mathematics suggested by students after the moment and then use what they learn in future lessons.

Volume 18  Issue 1  

Video-Enhanced Training to Support Professional Development in Elementary Science Teaching: A Beginning Teacher’s Experience

by Christine Hamel, Anabelle Viau-Guay, Luc Ria & Justine Dion-Routhier
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Elementary teachers are expected to teach complex and authentic lessons and integrating multiple disciplines. In so doing, they must take many elements into account, such as disciplinary content, learning standards, and pedagogical knowledge, in an ever more complex environment, including pupils’ increasingly heterogeneous characteristics. Our study aims to understand a beginning teacher’s classroom activity in the context of a research-training program involving the use of video. The teacher involved was observed giving a science lesson (on buoyancy in a fourth-grade classroom) and then took part in two interviews involving self-confrontation with researchers at 1-week intervals, returning to the classroom between these interviews. Specifically, this article presents a program aimed at training and mentoring a beginning elementary school teacher using video recordings of her classroom activities in Quebec, Canada. The analysis describes the teacher’s experience during this training process. In particular, the results indicate that the teacher’s participation in this training program changed her concerns related to science education at the elementary level. Her focus shifted from classroom management (e.g., managing hands-on activities in science education and pupils’ interactions) to supporting an approach favoring scientific inquiry that truly engages pupils and is anchored in sociotechnical controversies.


Students as Investigators: Learning About the People of the Civil War

by Elizabeth Barrow, Janice Anderson & Martinette Horner
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Using the of Humans of New York photoblog concept, the lesson plan described in this article incorporated technology and the replacement, amplification, and transformation framework to modify a traditional social studies lesson on the American Civil War into an engaging and inquiry-based lesson.  The plan calls for students to research individuals who lived during the American Civil War and create their own digital storyboard of Humans of the Civil War.  This lesson idea uses available technology to engage students in more meaningful instruction that goes beyond lectures. Doing so allows teachers to transform their lessons using technology in authentic ways that may help students become more active agents in their learning.  This lesson requires students to make strategic decisions about what is important to know about historical figures and how to best tell their story while also learning about the war.