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Opening Windows onto Classrooms: Promises and Challenges in the Design of Video Cases for Professional Development in Mathematics and Science


"As teachers develop their craft, they are 'like ballerinas without mirrors' - walled off from observing themselves or accomplished colleagues... If teacher quality is central to student learning, how can teachers develop new practices when they develop their craft in isolation? One strategy is to open window onto teaching and learning through the use of video cases of classroom practice as a resource for teachers' professional development." This report captures the major ideas of a conference on video cases attended by researchers and professional developers at BSCS in February 2002 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Four questions framed the discussion at this conference: What goals are driving the development of video cases for teacher development in math and science? What theories and beliefs underlie the design of video cases? What design challenges are inherent to the creation of video cases as professional development tools and curriculum? What are the characteristics of current prototypes of video cases, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?