Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Also available in:


Database of Publications

Homepage > Teacher Training > Database of Publications > Publication's Form


Jiri Rychtera
Palacky University Olomouc, Faculty of Science
School Directors, Researchers, Teachers, Policy Makers
Over 10 pages
In a concept of a professional teacher, as an expert for learning and teaching, ”professional knowledge” forms basement of all his/her practical work – decision processes action and its reflexion. The worlds of theory and practice are joined. A teacher is capable of theoretical reflexion of practical experience, rationalization, verbalization of intuitive, implicit, hidden, misty presumptions of decision and action. (S)he is able to understand conjunctions, context, more general regularities. Such characteristic presents basic difference between the state known as “teacher-beginner” and the one known as “teacher-expert”. In teacher profession, similarly as in other occupations, qualification is formed from two sources:
(1) Based on regular education (in the case of teachers called “initial” or “preparatory” education)
(2) Based on practical experience during profession of teacher (in this meaning, fully qualified teacher is “teacher-expert” only, not “teacher-beginner”)

A question arises: Is it possible to assure that an alumnus of pre-graduate study of teaching is capable of effective theoretical reflexion, i.e. is it possible to increase the quality of his/her preparation so that a process of his/her maturation is more quality and faster? As it is generally accepted nowadays, one of the most basic principles and laws of all learning is a principle of feedback. A system without effective feedback is endangered by inadequate action and it may get out of control. The aim of pedagogic diagnostics, as a newly formed pedagogical discipline, is to understand the pedagogical situation and this understanding is a fundament for creation of theoretical insight into pedagogical situations which are often solved by incidental and intuitive way.

Feedback character can be seen in inspections of classes, either direct or mediated. In the framework of practical part of pre-graduate teachers` education, control mechanisms are assured mainly by direct inspections of classes. However, importance of so called mediated inspections of classes has increased recently. These are enabled by digital video equipment. Regulation principle are applied after post-inspection study or video analysis.

One of the basic questions is not answered, that is the one whether qualitative-oriented approach or quantitative-oriented one should be preferred. Quantitative-oriented procedures produce results with objective character (they are usually expressed numerically) and can be processed statistically but they are reductive. Qualitative-oriented procedures present description of the problem under consideration in full width and entirety and it seems to be much more suitable for description of such complex process as the pedagogic one is.

Every outer interference with the environment of a school class presents considerable disturbance of its equilibrium. Some of the interferences can have more distinct impact on equilibrium state and can cause so called Hawtorn effect expressed by achievement of better results of monitored actions. Such interferences include also inspection of class performed for objective of control or research character. Both pupils and teacher tend to behave different way and they strive to show better results than in normal, equilibrium environment. For the reasons reported above, such research cannot be considered as relevant.

Another way of transport of information between the class and the inspecting person, considerably removing interference of necessary equilibrium of class environment, is wireless transmission where video equipment is placed in the class and remote-controlled by the inspecting subject. Such case is called mediated inspection. However, operative distance of wireless connection is limited. The described system was long-term tested for the distance of ca. 130 m using adapted antennas.
The paper deals with important topic of assessment of school classes and feedback at training of future teachers. Practical component of teachers` training is one of the most difficult parts of education curriculum, mainly because that the fundaments of it are formed on the basis of empiric procedures, they are not theoretically developed in sufficient extent and they are characterized mainly by created ability structures. For this reason, every contribution enabling efficiency increase is extraordinary useful. In this case, improvement of diagnostic procedures in pre-gradual teachers` training seems to be an essential condition of professional development. We agree with the reason that a teacher becomes successful and professional even during his/her practice. Direct inspections of classes are essential parts of lives of every either professional or future teacher. The question is how to asses pedagogic output of future teacher so that the feedback is immediate, as efficient as possible and in the same time, the fragile social environment of the class is not affected. Video records of classes offer sets of information about particular pedagogic situation. The sets can be analyzed in the presence of other students of pedagogy and their teacher. One can suppose that after diagnostics of “foreign pedagogical situations”, a student will understand his/her own teaching. Thus, reflexion becomes the basic aspect of teachers` professionalization. Properly edited video record containing key minutes of the lessons can help to improve the level not only of a student of pedagogy but also of a current teacher.

The reviewed publication was created as a study material for students of pedagogy – future teachers. However it can also help educators of educators, current teachers, school directors or members of school inspection. The paper is rather theoretical and does not offer simple solution how to improve chemistry teaching or how to prepare future teachers. However it analyzes the key aspects of teachers` professionalization in serious way with emphasis on feedback. In more details, it is devoted to the topic of inspection of classes performed with the use of video technique. The paper can contribute to increase of quality of future teachers, not only chemistry ones.
Institute of Chemical Technology Prague

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2013.11.25

Posted by Gülşah Tanrıverdi (Turkey)

Message: The author of this investigation touches on an important point in this paper and discusses the needs of a professional teacher and gives valuable and clear information about it.
How to determine the characteristics of a professional teacher is definitely not clearly explained but probably one of the best observation methods is suggested: video record. If the teaching process is recorded, it provides time to reflect on various aspects of it. Besides of the fact that the teacher can see his/her own performance, there is also space for external developmental comments from colleagues or professional evaluators. The video-method is an efficient way to educate future teachers but it is possible that ‘’old’’ teachers encounter obstacles in their teaching strategies, in other words if their teaching way is too traditional they will get too many negative feedback from ‘’young’’ teachers who are used to new teaching methods. Another point is, it is possible that the teachers won’t be able to act real. That is to say that some teachers can be nervous while the video record and according to that, either they will present a ‘’bad’’ performance or they will act fake.
Also creating a video database is a good suggestion for future teacher education. Considered the database over years it gives a retrospect to previous teaching methods and this serves as determinant whether the current teacher education program is useful or not.
In conclusion, this paper gives a broad insight how to improve teacher education but it makes not all points clear. Nevertheless, it widens the horizon of observation methods of teachers in classrooms.

Date: 2013.07.18

Posted by Eva Krchová (Czech Republic)

Message: The paper about video conferencing to teachers is realy good proposal. It can helps to focus on problems of teachers, to improve their skills. But for few of them, it can be kind of dispersion. Especially for older teachers, which teach acording long tradition and new technics are not welcome. The article doesn\'t solve this kind of problem. The acceptance of it. So it is overall good proposal but it must be given into the general view.

Date: 2013.07.02

Posted by Miroslav Prokša (Slovakia)

Message: This article is relevant and understandable. Iincludes a chart for practical use. Suggestion about the proposal to include video conferencing to graduate teacher training is for me very interesting. The idea of creating a database of video recording of these video conference sessions is inspriration for our conditions in Slovakia . This could be the effective ways to educate future educators, since they are able to realize their mistakes when watching video record of their lessons. This virtual classroom observation is also good to teach the teaching student to work with modern technologies. Problem could be that not all students are quiet and recording of the lessons can affect the future teachers so that they are nervous and not able to perform everything they would otherwise be able to do with no problem.

Date: 2013.05.23

Posted by Daniela Hasnikova (Czech Republic)

Message: I was really engaged with the topic of Analysis of Chemistry Lessons Supported by Video Records. This is one of the effective ways to educate future educators, since they are able to realize their mistakes when watching video record of their lessons. Just note that not all students are quiet and recording of the lessons can affect the future teachers so that they are nervous and not able to perform everything they would otherwise be able to do with no problem.

Date: 2013.05.15

Posted by Mgr. Alžběta Jantová, ZŠ A MŠ ČERVENÝ VRCH (speciální pedagožka a psycholožka) (Czech Republic)

Message: The author discusses the role of teacher as an expert and abilities needed for the profession. Teaching practice has an irreplaceable role in the professional development of teachers. Feedback should help them on their way to better competencies. The author states classroom observation as a good example of feedback.
The article is relevant, understandable and beneficial. It includes a nice chart for practical use. I’d like to highlight the proposal to include video conferencing in undergraduate teacher training. The idea of creating a database of video recording of these video conference sessions is also interesting. This may be the basis for further use (for example in creation of a portfolio of undergraduate teachers). Virtual classroom observation is also good to teach the teaching student to work with modern technologies. The connection between Chemistry teaching and modern technologies is, between others, a current trend.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.