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Title: Observing Language Pedagogy (OLP) : developing and piloting a contexualised video-based measure of early childhood teachers' pedagogical language knowledge
Author: Mathers, Sandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 9352 956X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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To support responsive decision-making in the classroom, teachers need flexible access to rich, well-organised and integrated pedagogical knowledge (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). The design of teacher programmes which effectively foster such knowledge rests on its successful measurement, so that relationships between teachers’ learning experiences and their knowledge growth can be established. However, existing questionnaire-based assessments have thus far failed to capture dynamic pedagogical knowledge in a manner which allows relationships with practice and child outcomes to be established. This study develops and pilots a contextualised tool for assessing the dynamic pedagogical knowledge of early childhood teachers, in relation to oral language development. Respondents watch three short videos of a practitioner interacting with children, and identify the strategies used which may support children’s language skills. This use of ‘teacher noticing’ as a proxy for pedagogical knowledge is based on the premise that expert and novice teachers perceive classroom events differently (Berliner, 1992), and that noticing effective strategies in others is a precursor to successful application in personal practice (Jamil, Sabol, Hamre & Pianta, 2015; van Es & Sherin, 2002, 2006). The tool is piloted in the context of a wider randomised controlled trial in 117 schools, designed to evaluate an oral language professional development intervention for preschool teachers. Responses from 104 teachers (n=72 schools) are used to explore its psychometric properties. Findings indicate that the tool provides a reliable measure of pedagogical knowledge, and that scores significantly predict observed quality of practice. Teachers with greater explicit procedural knowledge, and those who provided interpretations of the interactions they identified, led classrooms with higher-quality language-supporting practice. Teachers who participated in the intervention showed greater procedural knowledge of language-supporting strategies than teachers in the control group. Implications for the understanding and assessment of pedagogical knowledge, and for the design of relevant professional development, are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available