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Video Case Studies from the National Board

The National Board: Shift Instruction Using Video Cases and Reflection


Authentic, unvarnished videos of classroom lessons—not over-produced, deliberately edited, or artificial in look and sound—provide genuine views of varying teaching methods, in action, in varying classroom contexts. They help set the stage for meaningful discussion because we can see instructional strategies in practice before our eyes.

Video case studies can be highly useful in demonstrating effective teaching strategies, but only if the discussion around them is intentional and reflective. 

National Board Professional Development

Some basic guidelines to consider in making the most out of video resources include:

  • Ensure there is a range of classroom environments depicted. When teachers see students who are similar to their own engaged in deep learning in relevant subject areas, it has a powerful effect.
  • Use analysis tools to guide reflective conversations. A structured tool like the TEACH MATH Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Lesson Analysis Tool (which can be adapted for other content areas), can help focus the conversation on specific categories.
  • Be specific in reflection, not general. Focus discussion on evidence related to a specific category from the lesson analysis tool, rather than on general comments or observations about the clips. 
  • Consider selecting two complementary videos to use as focal points for discussion. This can help spark lively discussion and help the participants focus on multiple approaches to one specific category of evidence.
  • Make time for individual reflection and short-term goal-setting. Allot time for each person in the group to reflect on the discussion and, relative to their own practice, set short-term goals that are specific and attainable. 
  • Encourage teacher participants to contribute video clips from their own classrooms. Once teachers become comfortable with the experience of viewing a video case study, analyzing, and participating in reflective discussion, encourage them to contribute their own videos. 

This strategy was adapted from a blog post by Mark Ellis, NBCT. Read the full post here.

Strategy Resources

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