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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Using Video for Teacher Observation

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


November 03, 2015

A recent study at Harvard University compared video-recorded and in-person classroom observations. 347 teachers and 108 administrators were studied in four states. One control group used in-person observations and one used a secure site to record lessons. Teachers using recordings chose which lessons to submit.

After a year, administrators found that allowing teachers to choose which videos were submitted did not affect their ability to identify strong teachers and those with problems. Teachers felt they were more fairly treated in the video group and were more self-critical of their instruction. Administrators found it easier to use their quieter time for observations and there was less teacher defensiveness.

How might you take these findings into practice into your school and your work?

Source: The Best Forward Project: Substituting Teacher-Collected Video for In-Person Observations. Center for Education Policy Research, Harvard University.

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