BBC Active offers a range of videos for use in teacher training which cover discipline issues as well as new techniques employed by teachers to reinforce learning. Trainee teachers can learn a great deal by watching experienced teachers in a lesson interacting with the students. Therefore classroom observation is a key element to teacher training courses. However, student teachers can also gain valuable experience by watching relevant videos of teachers in the classroom. They benefit from seeing how these teachers deal with the challenges of teaching, and watching them being interviewed describing their methods. Video also allows them to hear students giving their opinions on different teaching styles: unbiased student feedback being something that the average teacher hears only rarely.
Class Observation in Teacher Training
Observation of other teachers in a classroom environment is a useful tool in teacher training. It gives student teachers experience of a well-run classroom, and what they need to be aiming for in their own lessons.
Peer observation is used throughout a teacher’s career, not just at the beginning, in order to promote professional development and to allow a teacher to start questioning and improving their own methods. Teachers who have had the benefit of learning new skills during a conference or school visit can demonstrate these techniques to colleagues during an observation. This allows all teachers to benefit and passes on the knowledge, which can then be adapted and further improved by other teachers. This continual cycle of personal development allows teachers to learn in a very practical way throughout their whole career.
Educational Video in Teacher Training
Educational video showing teachers in the classroom can be used in a similar way to in-school observation. The student teacher can witness a classroom environment in a school which may be very different to what they have already experienced. The teacher training videos offered by BBC Active show teachers pushing the boundaries of the typical classroom, providing ideas that the students can adapt to their own teaching.
Video is a useful tool in teacher training as it allows new teachers to widen their experience of the classroom by seeing inside a variety of different schools. Any experience of the classroom environment is vital if students are going to learn how to deal with a range of situations confidently. Seeing inside a working classroom, even on a video, permits trainee teachers to learn from their more experienced colleagues. It can help them to keep calm and in control in stressful situations and they can put into use the techniques that they have seen other teachers employ.
Student teachers can learn from watching a video of expert teachers demonstrating the results of new research, or techniques which can improve discipline. Video allows the trainees to extend their in-class observations and widen their experience of school environments, even witnessing how lessons operate in classrooms overseas – something which would be impossible in real life.
BBC Active’s Teacher Training Video Resources:
The Classroom Experiment
The Classroom Experiment investigates the results of a piece of research which took place in a Hertfordshire secondary school. The aim of the research was to improve academic performance in the school. The project challenged the way that learning took place in the school and added in some new disciplinary techniques. The changes were unpopular at first, but pupils and teachers gradually became used to the new way of working and started to see its benefits.
Students no longer sat passively in lessons waiting for their peers to offer the answer. Now they all had to write down the answer on a white board in front of them, and lift it up to show the teacher, instead of hand raising. This encouraged greater participation by the less active and timid children and prevented the class being dominated by the more able.
The experiment is led by Professor Dylan Wiliam, an expert on assessment for learning. He believes that only a quarter of students consistently put their hands up in lessons and play an active role, while the rest of the pupils switch off. The new method of forcing all students to participate significantly improved the results: the pupils involved in the research made twice the amount of progress as others in the same year group.
New disciplinary techniques were also tested out, such as monitoring a single pupil’s behaviour throughout the day, without them knowing that they were being observed. Good behaviour was rewarded with trips to theme parks.
The Classroom Experiment can be used in education and training with a licence from BBC Active.
In Classroom Warriors, Panorama shows us that we can learn discipline techniques from the military. Can ex-military tame Britain’s troubled classrooms? The Government is thinking of training military personnel as teachers and sending them into schools to improve behaviour and command respect. The idea has already been employed in the US where 15,000 ex-military personnel work as teachers.
Classroom Warriors takes us to schools in the US where ex-military are bringing new techniques into the classroom to instil discipline and keep pupils on their toes. Ex-Major Jenkins has a few tricks up his sleeve for pupils in his classroom. Students line up outside the door and aren’t allowed in until they can answer a question. If they get it wrong they have to get back in line and keep trying until they succeed.
Despite his strict discipline and routine, he is very popular with the children he teaches. One of the pupils talks of him in awe, as if he has super human powers, “He can hear any conversation in class…his hearing is really sensitive as he’s been in the military. He says he can even hear a little tiny baby pin drop…”
The scheme has already been operating for two decades in the US. We also look at a school in Birmingham where 1 in 12 teachers have military backgrounds. Classroom Warriors takes us into these schools to analyse the success of the project and discuss whether it could work in other UK schools.
Classroom Warriors can be used in education and training with a licence from BBC Active.
Other teacher training videos available from BBC Active include: Crisis in the Classroom. Visit the BBC Active Video for Learning website to see all the teacher training videos. There are also a large number of videos covering social issues affecting society, which could prove useful for preparing teachers for the classroom.
Take a look at our Ten ways to make lectures more dynamic article.