Education Development Trust has joined forces with Oxford University to head up, on behalf of the Department for Education, the England arm of a pioneering international study.
The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) Video Study will capture footage of teachers from across the world teaching mathematics in a bid to analyse the elements of teaching and the responses of pupils. It is an ambitious pilot being run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The research will be looking specifically at the teaching of mathematics across nine countries: Japan, Chile, Mexico, Columbia, Spain (specifically Madrid), USA, China (specifically Shanghai), Germany and England. Over 750 teachers will be filmed as they teach quadratic equations, and the Education Development Trust will be conducting the research with 85 maths teachers in England.
'Teachers in some of the most celebrated education systems routinely watch other teachers to learn more about their own teaching,' explains Anna Riggall, head of research at Education Development Trust. ‘We are not just talking about classroom observation for performance management or an individual teacher's professional development, but instead videoing and analysing carefully the elements of teaching that take place. By doing this in a systemic way we can learn a great deal about what teachers do and how pupils respond and this will all be shared to allow others to learn.'
Sharing international best practice
Education Development Trust's videography expert Kim Morrison from London Connected Learning Centre adds: 'Schools are increasingly using digital technologies to help improve teaching methods. Classroom video observation gives teachers the opportunity to take control of their own professional development, enabling them to try out new strategies and interventions. The technique provides flexibility, allowing teachers to reflect on their success and areas for development alone, or with colleagues at a convenient time. As more and more professionals use online training programmes to up their skills, video observation gives teachers an exciting opportunity to collaborate and share best practice with colleagues from across the globe.'
Conor McKenna from Ralph Allen School is one of the teachers in England who is taking part in the initial pilot and he explains why: 'It is a really exciting opportunity to be part of a major international study of mathematics teaching. The use of video and supporting data will give a rich picture of a variety of practice, and hopefully point to some best practice that we can incorporate into our teaching at the school. I am particularly pleased that the study will not be about ranking different countries, and so policymakers will have space to consider the context of teaching and learning in different countries. I am looking forward to being part of the process, and giving our students the chance to see researchers at work – I think it will add a lot of weight to their learning.'
'We believe this study will improve our understanding of the relationships between a range of teaching practices and various student outcomes, including their enjoyment of mathematics, mathematical knowledge and engagement with learning,' explained Dr Jenni Ingram and Prof Pam Sammons of the University of Oxford. 'The findings will provide important new evidence to inform policy and support teachers classroom practice and professional development.'
Over the next few months, Education Development Trust will undertake a pilot with 12 schools, 12 teachers and 400 pupils.
To find out more or to discuss how your school could get involved, please contact: TALISVideoStudy@educationdevelopmenttrust.com