Sewell Using Video Elicitation to Support Preservice Teacher-directed Reflective Conversations

Sewell, M. (2009). Transforming supervision: Using video elicitation to support preservice teacher-directed reflective conversations. Issues in Teacher Education, 18(2), pp. 11-30.

Summary: This study used qualitative means to compare preservice teachers’ reflective practice using two different approaches to the post conference. Those approaches were the traditional observation called an observation based debriefing (OBD) and an experimental approach called a video elicited reflective (VER) debriefing. The study found that PSTs were empowered and drove the conversations with VER sessions because they were the owner of the artifact and therefore in control of the conversation. It also found that the approach drove the kind and amount of reflection. In VER, supervisors assumed the role of elicitor.  VER was “inside out” reflection and OBD was “outside in” reflection. However, participants felt that both kinds were necessary and complementary to their growth as future educators.

Key Words: technology, video, supervisor-centered, supervisor-facilitated, supervisor as facilitator, supervision in teacher education, observation, novice reflection, reflection


Conceptual Framework:

Teacher preparation, reflective practice, pedagogical development, and expert-novice relationships


Research Questions:

How do video-elicited reflective debriefings contribute to the reflective communication of novice teachers?



Primary data: Audio-taped supervisor/novice teacher debriefings, two taped per preservice teacher

Complementary data: Field notes, Pre- & post- interviews



8 novice presrvice teachers



  • “…the most reflective participant, that is, either novice teacher or supervisor, varied depending on the mode used for debriefing” (p. 37). In OBD, the most reflective was the supervisor. In VER, the most reflective was the PST.
  • “…the novice teacher therefore provided not only the most dominant voice in the VER interaction, but also the most reflective” (p. 20).
  • “…the tool or ‘artifact’ upon which the discussion was based influenced the nature of the reflective commentary in both quality and quantity, sometimes to a very large degree” (p. 20). PSTs offered more reflective commentary and better reflective commentary with the VER than with the OBD. In fact, the introduction of the observation data would shut down the commentary.
  • The owner of the artifact made the person the expert, and the expert drove the conversation. In OBD, the supervisor’s notes drove the discussion. In VER, the students drove the conversation.
  • In VER, the supervisor assumed the role of elicitor. The PST had the control.
  • “As Emmett further stated, OBD is ‘from the outside in’; VER is ‘from the inside out,’ and the participants unanimously appreciated having the chance for both approaches to inform their pedagogical development in different but equally valuable ways” (p. 27).


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