Video Eye Aimed at Teachers in 7 School Systems
A related story on videotaping teachers in the classroom:
As part of the project to develop new ways to evaluate teachers, researchers have recruited 3,000 teachers in seven school systems — Dallas; Denver; Charlotte, N.C.; Hillsborough County, Fla.; Memphis; New York; and Pittsburgh — who allowed themselves to be videotaped in their classrooms. (As part of the agreement, only researchers can view the tapes, not school administrators).
Participants include teachers of grades four through nine in regular public schools.
To demonstrate the project for The New York Times, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation asked teachers in Charlotte and Memphis to volunteer to tape additional classes, not bound by the confidentiality provisions.
One who volunteered was Rachael Maher, who teaches seventh-grade math at Alexander Graham Middle School in Charlotte. For an hour, with digital video equipment capturing a panoramic view of the classroom, Ms. Maher taught her students the Pythagorean theorem.
A few days later, two scorers from the Educational Testing Service, the Princeton-based nonprofit that administers the SAT, critiqued her performance. Edith Aurora Graf and Leslie Thornley reviewed the video many times, like coaches watching game tape. They noticed Ms. Maher's rapport with students, her pacing, the way she transitioned from direct instruction to group work.