WP199 We’re not here to skewer anyone: Face-work in video- based teacher learning

Vedder-Weiss, Segal & Lefstein
Collection: Key word


Video-based teacher professional development offers great promise, but also poses some significant ? and heretofore relatively unexplored ? risks. Teachers typically teach alone, behind closed doors.? Adhering to norms of privacy and noninterference, they rarely share with one another problems of practice. Moreover, when they are called upon to discuss classroom events, they seldom have access to concrete representations on which to ground their discussion. One exception is video-based professional learning, in which teachers collaboratively analyze a colleague’s filmed lesson. On account of this advantage, among others, video-based professional development has generated much interest and enthusiasm in the past couple of decades. In particular, video-based learning has potential to integrate key elements of effective teacher learning: exploring theory in relation to concrete problems of practice; cultivating collaborative critical discussions; and making classroom practice public.? However, video-based learning involves a risk – the risk of hurting one’s own or a colleague?s public image, or face (Goffman, 1955/1967). Face threat may undermine teachers’ openness towards the sharing of problems of practice. On the other hand, extensive face-work, which prevents or mitigates such threat, may constrain critical discussion and impede learning.? To what extent do teachers in video-based discussions orient towards face threats and engage in face work? How do they manage face concerns, and what are the implications of their face work for their professional learning?? While numerous studies have acknowledged the importance of face issues in teacher video-based learning, to our knowledge no study has specifically focused on the issue. This article addresses this gap, by investigating the implications of face threat and its management on teacher professional video-based learning in 16 case studies of video-based discussions in 6 school-based teacher teams.