Toward Better Goal Clarity in Instruction: How Focus On Content, Social Exchange and Active Learning Supports Teachers in Improving Dialogic Teaching Practices

  •  Martina Alles    
  •  Tina Seidel    
  •  Alexander Gröschner    


Goal clarity is an essential element of classroom dialogue and a component of effective instruction. Until now, teachers have been struggling to implement goal clarity in the classroom dialogue. In the present study, we investigated the classroom practice of teachers in a video-based intervention called the Dialogic Video Cycle (DVC) and compared it to the classroom practice of teachers in a traditional control group. We conducted video analysis (N = 20 lessons) of teaching practices at the beginning (pre-test) and at the end of the school year (post-test). Furthermore, we performed video analysis of intervention group teacher discussions during DVC meetings (N = 6 meetings). Comparative analysis between groups revealed changes in teaching practices towards better goal clarity for DVC teachers in comparison to the traditional control group. In-depth analysis of teacher discussions during DVC meetings showed that teachers continuously focused on goal clarity as the content of teacher professional development (TPD). They shared learning experiences and were actively involved in TPD learning activities. The study illustrates how components of effective TPD programs (content focus, social and active learning) translated into redefining and changing the teaching practice.

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