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The case for hypermedia video ethnographies: designing a new class of case studies that challenge teaching practice.

Teacher educators are under increased pressure to prepare preservice teachers theoretically and practically to teach culturally, linguistically, and learning diverse students. This article describes an effort to expand traditional written case study methods to include hypermedia video ethnography (HVE) cases studies in teacher education. A set of design principles is proposed that overcome the limitations of written case studies. These principles are authenticity, problem representation, multiple perspectives, and juxtaposing theory and practice. A specific HVE is used to illustrate the features of this new case study format and its potential in meeting the current demands in teacher education.



Although there is a trend toward mainstreaming English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students, as well as other special population students, into the regular classroom, ESL issues have yet to be fully mainstreamed into preservice teacher education curriculum. In addition, most inservice teachers feel ill-prepared to appropriately accommodate ESL students in either instruction or assessment (e.g., Carrasquillo & Rodriguez, 1995; Clair, 1995; Gollnick, 1992; Penfield, 1987; Simms & Leonard, 1986). Therefore, even if preservice teachers have received preparation for meeting the needs of special population students in their teacher education programs, they may find it very difficult to apply what they have learned when placed with inservice teachers who are uncertain about their own ability to support diverse student populations.

One of the greatest difficulties of preparing prospective teachers is establishing a concern for and acceptance of the need for theory in practice. Students of teaching need sufficient experience with, exposure to, and understanding of practice to see how the theory being promoted through instruction is indeed practical and to recognize how practice represents theory. For example, best practices for ESL students are based on second language acquisition, sociocultural, and human development theories (e.g., Fillmore & Snow, 2000) in addition to theories of learning and teaching, which generally form the foundation of teacher education (Pugach, Barnes, & Beckum, 1991). Even when teacher education addresses theory in these areas, students of teaching are left on their own to decide how the theory applies and how to apply the theory. This is particularly true in the preparation of mainstream teachers, who may mistake the strategies of good teaching for the substance of good teaching, thereby underestimating the depth and complexity of understanding required to take an active role in the education of ESL students. They much learn to recognize the context for practice, to construct the practice in that context, and to evaluate whether it was effective or not.

As a result, preservice teachers are in need of greater experience with, and exposure to, ESL classroom practice in which the theory of good classroom practice is articulated and made visible and identifiable in teaching. A general approach to revealing the theory of good practice has been a focus on the development and use of case studies.

The purpose of this article is to describe an effort to expand traditional written case study methods to include hypermedia-anchored instruction based in the use of video ethnographies of classroom life captured on CD-ROMs. First, the rationale for using case studies is reviewed. Second, the challenges of using only written case studies to support teachers in seeing the theoretical and practical embedded in the practices of teaching are outlined. Against this backdrop, a set of design principles is then proposed that overcome the limitations of written case studies. Finally, a specific video ethnography of practice focusing on ESL issues is used to illustrate how hypermedia case study formats allow students of teaching to explore and then author studies of practice related to ESL students.


Widespread interest in case literature by teacher educators did not begin until the mid- 1980s. Since then a variety of case literature have been created and piloted, such as textbook cases (Fenstermacher & Soltis, 1986; Strike & Soltis, 1985), casebooks (Shulman & Colbert, 1987, 1988; Silverman, Welty, & Lyon, 1991), conversations/preconceptions/videotapes (Sykes & Bird, 1992), subject-specific cases (Barnett, 1991), and context-specific cases (Kleinfeld, 1992). The arguments for using case literature in teacher education are mounting. For example, Shulman (1992) claimed teachers' craft wisdom may be captured only in the context-rich medium of cases and that cases are the most valid way of representing the structure of teaching. Modest research efforts are under way, but as Sykes and Bird (1992, p. 458) asserted, "The full test of the case idea in teacher education awaits ... bold trials."

According to learning scholars (e.g., Hart, 1983; Shulman, 1992), there are at least four critical elements that must exist if students are to be fully engaged in the learning process and develop deep, reflective thinking patterns that will transfer to other contexts. First, learners must be confronted with problems and frame questions that genuinely mirror the world beyond the classroom. Second, the problems and questions must come to have personal meaning to the learners. Third, the process of teaching learners how to frame questions and inquire after solutions must model active inquiry pedagogy (i.e., practice in inquiring about and finding their own answers). Fourth, the display of learning must be to authentic audiences, for example, those who can benefit from and who have a vital interest in the problems and questions, in addition to teachers and peers. The assumption is that written case studies meet these demands for learning.

Usually, at the heart of each written case study is a problem, an issue, a question, a paradox, or a dilemma. Often cases are constructed to didactically lead learners to a particular, preconceived view of a pedagogical problem and its solution (Showers, Joyce, & Bennett, 1987); however, other cases are not as didactic. In the discussion of such cases, the teacher does not lead students in linear fashion to the "correct" answers, but instead establishes an environment wherein they test rival alternative hypotheses. Through a teacher's guidance, students of teaching are enabled to assume responsibility for their own learning rather than simply being instructed (Harrington & Garrison, 1992). With either use of case studies, the student is presented with examples of teaching where the expectation is that the practice is problematic or deficit in some way. The ability of the written case to challenge students' current views of teaching depends dramatically on the pedagogical skill of the teacher educator and the intellectual ability of the students.

The case study approach has been fruitful in preparing prospective teachers because teacher knowledge, like case studies, is event-structured (Carter, 1990). Teaching practices have deep roots in classroom experience. These practices reflect teachers' idiosyncratic responses based on their world views and beliefs about subject matter knowledge, students, learning, and schooling (Fenstermacher, 1986; Shulman, 1986). But teaching practices also reflect teachers' life-long biographies as learners and students (Bullough & Gitlin, 1995; Britzman, 1991). In addition, teaching practices reflect the narratives teachers tell to account for their own professional knowledge landscapes (Clandinin & Connelly, 1995). To successfully support preservice teachers' development in learning to teach, for example, ESL students, preservice teachers must be placed in a position where they see successful teaching practices that cause them to question their own beliefs about practice. They need a context where they can see and reflect upon a teaching practice, and then be presented with satisfying theoretical explanations of that practice.

Fenstermacher (1986) argued that unlike propositional arguments, which end in statements, practical arguments are not only more tacit but they also end in actions. Unless teachers understand their own theories and beliefs about practice, when they are confronted with a particular classroom action, they may be uncertain how the action reflects their theories and beliefs. As the practical arguments behind their theories and beliefs are made more visible, teachers are better positioned to change their practices. Therefore, case studies should cause teachers to reconstruct practical arguments that operate behind their actions in ways that lead them to act differently in their teaching.


Making theory transparent in teaching practice and making the teaching practice of theory transparent to preservice teachers presents several challenges when using written case studies. First, teaching teachers is complicated by a paucity of language for capturing a teacher's--often ineffable--wisdom of practice (Richardson-Koehler, 1987). There is not an extensively articulated language of practice that is shared among teachers or across teaching situations and disciplines of teaching. Written case studies are richer than expository explanations of practice, and through discussion teacher educators can build a language of practice with their students. Nevertheless, written case studies still lack a significant amount of authenticity in communicating the complexity of the teaching events they are meant to represent. To be authentic and shared, the language of practice must capture what Friere (1994) called praxis; that is, attention must be given to both the words and work of teaching. Friere argued that dialogue must attend to both action and reflection. When the action of teaching practice--the actual context of practice--is removed, the student of teaching is confronted with theoretical verbalism. When time for reflection is sacrificed, preservice teachers are left with unexamined activities, strategies, or responses. Written case studies, while allowing for reflection, sacrifice action, and are therefore lacking in authenticity.

Second, written case studies most often take a problem orientation in their representation of teaching and students. Case studies purposefully focus on problems or issues with titles such as, "I can't handle it anymore," "I so wanted to be a good teacher," or "We only meant it to be a joke" (e.g., Wassermann, 1993; Redman, 1999). Preservice teachers are asked to respond to such problem representations in a written context where the very artifacts required to make an alternative problem representation have been stripped away. For example, much of the language of practice for teaching is not only tacit, it is also nonverbal, physical, and tactile, and does not lend itself to translation into oral expression separate from the classroom where the practice occurs. Students do not walk into a teacher's classroom with convenient and educationally appropriate labels to guide practice. Thus, within the physical context of the class, the teacher must first read the cues, then interpret them accurately, and finally respond appropriately to support student learning. However, in written case studies, preservice teachers are being asked to read, interpret, and respond to cases of teaching without access to the living classroom artifacts that make fundamental and meaningful reinterpretation possible. While written case studies are helpful in providing narrative access to teaching, they still remain decontextualized representations because the visual, nonverbal, physical, tactile, and verbal elements of teaching are missing.

Third, as Britzman (1991) observed, preservice teachers can only rely on their own experiences or perspectives as students in classrooms as they begin to learn about teaching. Even as they gain experience in teaching, that experience is still limited to their own perspective or that of a cooperating teacher's. They know how they have responded to students' needs; they may know how others say they ought to respond, but they usually have not had the opportunity to see how other teachers have taken the theories of learning, second language acquisition, or development and appropriately applied them in educational practice. Even if they observe teachers who successfully meet the needs of diverse learners, they still do not have access to multiple perspectives on such practice. For example, they do not have access to the perspectives of the teacher, the students, a second language specialist, or a content-area specialist. Written case studies ameliorate these problems by providing a medium through which experiences can be shared. However, the complete context for understanding another teacher's experience is unnecessarily reduced given today's technological advances. In learning, reading about practice may not be as powerful as seeing. More recently, case method has been elaborated and enriched with videotape or audiotape segments of actual teaching episodes. The joining of print and audio/video media has made both formats more authentic and provocative. Nevertheless, the written case is still independent from the video and audio segments as well as void of multiple perspectives on teaching.

Fourth, an additional challenge to written cases is that of user control. Most written cases present a narrative that includes thick description of a given teaching and learning environment, relevant historical antecedents, teacher, student, and other stakeholder personality sketches, and some kind of dilemma that the teacher, students, and other stakeholders face. With this background the user is usually directed to create various resolutions to the dilemma and back them up with research or other defensible rationale. The case usually culminates in the user being exposed to what actually took place, so that comparisons between hypothesized resolutions and actual resolutions can be made. In this process, the user exercises very little control over the sequence, little access to other forms of information (e.g., video and audio clips), or access to other perspectives or ways of looking at the case elements from within the case itself.

Effective teaching is worthy of being studied and understood at deeper and deeper levels. Nonlinearity of access to teaching events is an option repeatedly exploited in hypermediated video ethnographies, but this is awkward and almost impossible to accomplish with traditional written case studies. Because of hyperlinks among video, audio, and text data types, the user is permitted to customize presentations and exploration of information in a variety of ways. This ability to customize and personalize are powerful inherent attributes of hypermediated ethnographies that allow levels of insight and inquiry seldom encountered in other case types. When the preservice teachers want to ask related questions and see or hear alternative classroom incidents, they only have to click a mouse. To return to the main scenario, the preservice teachers again are as close as a mouse click.

A final challenge to the use of written case studies is raised in considering Whitehead's (1993) concept of living contradictions. Whitehead proposed that change in practice usually occurs when we recognize in the moment of teaching that who we are in practice contradicts what we believe about teaching and learning. Written case studies can only didactically confront practice with theory. If the goal of teacher education is to impact and change teaching practices, then preservice teachers need to be confronted, in the moment of seeing a practice, with theory that can challenge, explain, or expand their understanding. Written case studies do not do this well because the moment of practice, no matter how well captured by the text, is presented as narrative and the theoretical is hidden. In addition, when the text moves to exposition, the living narrative of practice is hidden as theoretical aspects are presented didactically (Kermode, 1979).

In summary, written case studies pose challenges to teacher educators. Teacher educators have responsibility to support preservice teachers in developing praxis, an authentic discourse of action and reflection. They must provide prospective teachers with opportunities to develop alternative representations of the same teaching event. They also must permit users to customize and personalize to the video, audio, and text data types within a given case. In addition they need to provide access to divergent perspectives on teaching to position theory and practice productively against each other. Each of these challenges point to a need to move toward case study formats that preserve all the benefits of written case studies yet provide students with more authentic, theoretically explicated, and complex representations of practice. Hypermedia ethnography case study formats hold promise for teacher educators.


Hypermedia video ethnography (HVE) provides a new class of case studies of actual teaching practice for preservice teachers in CD-ROM, DVD, or internet form. Yet HVE case studies only overcome the shortcomings of written case studies when developers attend to four design principles: (a) authenticity, (b) problem representation, (c) multiple perspectives, and (d) theory and practice.

First, case studies are more powerful when they feel authentic to preservice teachers. In other words, an ethnography approach is taken to capture and present classroom teaching with its immediacy and imperfection, as well as all its nonverbal and visual aspects intact. The video ethnographer joins the living community of the classroom and allows that community to reveal itself and to communicate which phenomena are important and meaningful to the community. Such authentic cases provide opportunity for the development of praxis, because they bring together both teaching action and space for reflection. Both the observed and the observer are given voice in the process of capturing and analyzing the important happenings of the community. HVE case studies can juxtapose theory against actual classroom practice, in the moment of practice, without requiring that preservice teachers be in the actual classroom setting. Preservice teachers, therefore, have the cognitive space to analytically examine authentic teaching practice and time to reflect on practice with other students. Such authenticity allows preservice teachers to reveal, construct, and reconstruct their knowledge about teaching and its practice with simultaneous access to both theory and practice.

Second, case studies have more potential for changing practice when they invite problem representation and not just problem solution and when cases are a resource for seeing good teaching and not a presentation of deficits. When a written case study is formulated around a problem, the data from the case has been organized toward a narrow range of solution paths. When raw data of a teaching event is readily available, preservice teachers are free to identify what stands out to them and formulate their own problem statement and solution path. This also means that preservice teachers' representations of the teaching event can focus on explanation rather than merely problem formulation. Preservice teachers also have the ability to view the teaching practice multiple times enabling them to identify and articulate the practical arguments behind what they see. Further, the preservice teacher is supported in developing the cognitive complexity necessary for generating problem representations.

Third, case studies have the potential to expand understanding of practice when they provide multiple perspectives for interpreting a teaching event. When cases allow preservice teachers to see a teaching act and provide them with more than one explanation or theoretical discussion of the event, they help preservice teachers develop greater flexibility in attending to all the layers of complexity that typify teaching: content, context, pedagogy, and students.

Fourth, case studies are powerful when they juxtapose theory and practice in the moment of teaching. When this happens, preservice teachers become immediately aware of the usefulness of theory for helping them understand the content and contexts of teaching. This positions preservice teachers to apply theory to their own teaching as well as making them more capable of critiquing a theory from the perspective of practice. Instead of theory and practice being considered separately, they become intimately interconnected in the thinking and actions of preservice teachers.

The development of hypermedia case studies is in its infancy and open to exploration. Nevertheless, hypermedia case studies, if they are to improve on current teaching practice, must rigorously attend to authenticity, problem representation, multiple perspectives, and theory and practice. Otherwise, hypermedia solutions will repeat the challenges of written case studies.


In response to the limitations of written case studies and through attention to these four design principles, hypermedia video ethnographies of classroom teaching were developed to take advantage of hypermedia (i.e., the linking of video, audio, and textual data using hyperlinks) in constructing case studies that hold particular promise for preparing preservice teachers for diversity. One of these video ethnographies--The Julene Kendell Case (Harris, Kendell, Harris, & Baker, 2000)--will be used to describe more fully the hypermedia CD-ROM interface. Following discussion of the case study's interface and associated steps in the production process, the way in which these features attend to the design principles will be addressed.

The Julene Kendell Case is a multimedia capture of a 45-minute language arts lesson for ESL students using The Little Red Hen as its content source. To produce a hypermedia video ethnography, the video ethnographer first tapes a lesson or unit in the classroom of a master teacher after media releases have been secured from parents or guardians of the students to be taped and interviewed. These are not Hollywood productions where the classroom events are scripted, cast, taped, and edited. These are videos of classroom life. They are video taped in the least intrusive ways possible; that is, an experienced teacher educator moves freely within the classroom space using only a high quality camcorder with no enhancement of lighting or audio to capture critical scenes of classroom life They are not retaped if the students misbehave, the teacher gets frustrated, or if other aspects of school and home life intervene. They are segments of regular classroom life as planned and managed by outstanding teachers. They are edited to portray strong positive views of teaching. They are condensed through editing to reduce the amount of time that it takes to view an entire lesson without loosing the essential continuity. This is accomplished by using editing techniques that involve decisions about how much of each kind of classroom event is needed to maintain the flavor, identity, flow, and characteristics of that classroom and that lesson in order to present an authentic interpretation of the classroom event captured on tape.

The process of capturing a video ethnography of a classroom responds to the design principle of authenticity. It attends to authenticity since the classroom events are not staged or reshot if problems emerge. In other words, they are accurate presentations of practice captured at close range from angles and proximity that in practical terms makes real the desire of curious observers to be a fly on the wall. Because they are from the classrooms of master teachers, who are skilled managers, the events in the classroom are more about teaching and less explicitly about behavior difficulties of the typical neophyte. The segment of classroom life provides the preservice teacher space for reflection on action and in action. This space exists because the viewer stands outside the action of the classroom in the sense that the video, audio, and text data can be stopped and rewound for reexamination but inside the action in the sense that the viewing position is intimate and real. However, there obviously is no press on the preservice teacher to engage in the action or meet obligations to students in the classroom. The authenticity of the practice calls forth reflection on it.

The video ethnography also attends to the principle of problem representation. Because the study focuses on a real, unrehearsed living classroom, numerous tensions are always present which the unrehearsed teacher has to deal with both successfully and unsuccessfully. The preservice teachers are left relatively free to construct their own interpretation of events related to the teacher, students, context, learning, and teaching in the event. Although the video ethnographer has edited the footage for the CD-ROM interface, raw details are readily available so that multiple problem representations can flow from the single case presented.

After capturing the initial classroom footage, the next step in constructing a hypermedia video ethnography is the identification of up to five outstanding characteristics of the teaching segment. These characteristics become studies of the teacher's classroom exemplifying theories of teaching and learning. When the video ethnography is viewed in the study explorer mode, the CD-ROM interface presents these five characteristics to preservice teachers as a series of five buttons (FIGURE 1). Each of these characteristics is the name of a study and presents alternative interpretations of the same classroom events to the preservice teacher. The Julene Kendell Case has five studies:

1. Community in the Classroom;

2. Visual Cues;

3. Hands-on Activities;

4. Guarded Vocabulary; and

5. Classroom Management.


In the construction process, once the characteristics are identified as a study theme, the video ethnographer selects the minimum number of sequential clips needed to capture the salient characteristics of each theme. While the clips may be accessed in a given sequence, the hyperlinks allow for numerous alternative sequences depending on the inquirer's questions and learning style. In some instances the order of the clips may adhere to the chronology of the lesson or unit while in other situations they represent a set of variables where chronology is irrelevant. The case author, in consultation with the teacher and other stakeholders (e.g., other teacher educators, school principal, researchers) can divide the study into as many as nine probes. The probes within each study represent examples of concepts that develop the theme of the study. When preservice teachers use the study explorer, they select a study button, and are immediately presented with the labeled probes, which contain video clips illustrating the probe and the larger focus of the study (FIGURE 2). For instance, in the Community in the Classroom Study, seven probes illuminate the characteristics of building community in the classroom:

1. Use of Names;

2. Chance to Share;

3. Comfort Zone;

4. Social Skills;

5. Use of Space;

6. Friendly Environment; and

7. Cooperative Learning.

Typically one of the probes in the study also allows the user to view all clips in sequence. In the classrooms of outstanding teachers, the characteristics of good practice which make the classroom work, are often nearly invisible to the preservice teacher. Thus, the study and probe names help students develop a vocabulary for discussing the characteristics of teaching based in real-world experience. If needed, the preservice teacher is provided with a sequential, contextualized experience with classroom practice. If sequence is not essential, the preservice teacher can progress through the probes using a multiplicity of sequences depending on their questions and learning preferences.


These features of the video ethnography attend to the design principles of authenticity, problem representation, and multiple perspectives. The naming of the study and the probes has the potential to push the preservice teachers' reflection in the midst of practice. The names and labels invite conjectures, such as the following:

1. What makes this a study of Community in the Classroom?

2. How does Use of Space relate to building community?

3. Why is this segment called Use of Space?

4. Why are space and community important in teaching diverse learners?

5. Did my teachers think about these issues?

6. What do I remember that would show they did?

Because of the authenticity, preservice teachers are subtly moved toward the development of praxis.

The names of the studies and the labels of the probes confront preservice teachers with problem representations. As they question, "How is this Community in the Classroom," they may also be thinking, "I would call this classroom patterns" or "There isn't really community here because....." The availability of real world visual and verbal elements of classroom life enables preservice teachers to construct and deconstruct interpretations of the meaning of teaching action. Therefore, preservice teachers are invited to both critique and create problem representations. The names and labels also immediately present multiple perspectives to the student, because they identify wholes and parts and make visible an interpretative path that is possibly completely different from the ones the preservice teachers have access to from their own thinking.

One of the truly powerful features of this CD-ROM interface is the option it provides for students to examine up to five different perspectives for each probe within a study. For The Julene Kendell Case, the four perspectives provided include: (a) The Case Author; (b) Ideas from the Professional Literature; (c) Julene Kendell's Perspective; and (d) Another Teacher's Perspective. For example, if a student selects the Building Community button and then the Social Skills probe, they can learn about development of social skills from four perspectives (FIGURE 3). These perspectives can be both read and heard. The power of juxstapositoining in the close proximity of time and space the various interpretations from the respective points of view while grounding all interpretations in a common, living classroom episode is unlimited in drawing forth questions and insights from preservice teachers.


To capture these perspectives, the video ethnographer, after developing the case, returns to have the teacher review the case with the selected studies and probes. The video ethnographer invites the teacher to critique and discuss the studies and probes selected, and the teacher's commentary is audio taped and transcribed. The video ethnographer edits the commentary, so that it enables the student of teaching who will view the case study to understand the video clips from the perspective of the teacher. Next the video ethnographer determines what additional perspectives would contribute to understanding the theory and practice of the case. Perspectives may be invited from students in the classroom, parents of students, another practicing teacher, a teacher educator, a specialist, or quotations from the professional literature, but they always contain the perspective of the teacher (Table 1). Once these other perspectives are chosen, the video ethnographer audio tapes these individuals and edits the commentary from those perspectives. For all interpreters, their anchor is the common experience and referent of the living classroom as captured and represented in the referent video clip.

Through use of this technology, the learner is not only presented with the case as it is recorded, but is also given an explanation of the case from various perspectives which explain particular ways of viewing what the learner is seeing. Typically learners are asked to explore the probes for a study on their own first, allowing them to formulate their own interpretation of the case. Then learners are asked to explore the perspectives. These various perspectives provide: (a) an immediate context (the video clip of a teaching event); (b) the theoretical and practical labels for practice; and (c) explanations of what is being seen. The perspectives, the accuracy of the labels, and the explanations of the segments are all available for the preservice teacher to query, critique, or expand and support.

The CD-ROM interface supports an active learning focus. The user can begin immediately to explore personal questions about practice and do so in any order desired. There is no one right answer for this experience. There are anchored ideas being presented in the process, but students are expected to construct and defend their own ideas.

These interface features respond to the design principles of multiple perspectives, problem representation, and theory and practice. The perspectives themselves meet the design principle of multiple perspectives. As preservice teachers view probes, they can hear or read up to five perspectives on the practice in the moment of practice. As the preservice teachers select Building Communities and then the probe Social Skills, the teacher watches the clip and then listens to the case author, ideas from scholarly literature, Julene Kendell, and then another teacher's views about the concept of social skills. Therefore, the preservice teacher has immediate access to multiple explanations and interpretations of the teaching event. The perspectives also expand preservice teachers' flexibility in problem representation, because they support, contradict, complement, and extend each other, revealing to the student not only multiple perspectives but multiple problem representations.

These perspectives respond to the design principle of theory and practice by positioning theoretical explanations of practice immediately against the teaching event. When the perspectives come from practicing teachers, they can also provide practical explanations for something the case author or professional literature has explained theoretically. As a result, theory and practice are juxtaposed not in conflict but in complement, not in different time and space dimensions but in immediate and intimate time and space juxtapositions. By informing preservice teachers about the possible range and complexity of reflection that can illuminate action, video ethnographies expand preservice teachers' praxis: Preservice teachers are provided with words applied to the work of teaching.

Finally, the video ethnography case study engages learners in developing their own theories of practice by providing dual purposes. It allows students of teaching to explore teacher practice in what is called the Study Explorer mode, but it also has the capacity to allow preservice teachers to build their own studies of practice from the case using what is called the Study Builder mode. The video ethnographer must capture for exploration a rich, multi-vocal interpretation of a segment of teaching that will also allow preservice teachers to build their own interpretations of the case. In this way, the learner can create a theory of practice represented by practice with their own constructed or selected quotes found in professional literature or in relevant text within the case itself, commentary that explains how the teaching reveals the theory articulated. In both study exploration and study building modes, the video ethnographer is building a teaching tool, not just a research account. Therefore, the video ethnographer embraces ambiguity. Similar to the ambiguity of any classroom event, the video segments and multiple perspectives themselves may be contradictory and are open for alternative interpretation.

In Study Builder mode, the student of teaching has the opportunity to author a new study of the ethnography by selecting among the existing video clips. Preservice teachers may focus on motivation, gender, creativity, or humor and build an original study about that topic. They build the new original by selecting the video clips that illustrate their topic. These video clips are used as the probes that illustrate different aspects of their study. The student can drag and drop the selected video clips into the probe button area to build their study (FIGURE 4). In addition, they can create perspectives on this new study by using existing perspectives, adding new observations as the study's author, or adding new quotations from the professional literature. This new study can be saved on disk or attached to an e-mail to be shared with peers, an instructor, or used as part of the evaluation process. This gives preservice teachers practice in both seeing and articulating the theories they see in teaching.

The Study Builder mode attends to all four of the design principles: authenticity, problem representation, multiple perspectives, and theory and practice. It engages preservice teachers with authentic practice, and provides opportunity for them to generate numerous problem representations and take multiple perspectives. The very process of building a new study and providing commentary on it requires that preservice teachers constantly bring together theory and practice.



The growing trend in the United States, and in other countries, to mainstream special population students requires teacher education programs to support preservice teachers more explicitly in meeting the educational needs of culturally, linguistically, and learning diverse students. This requires extending their focus from general theories of teaching and learning to include for example second language and sociocultural theories of teaching and learning. Preservice teachers, however, must be supported in recognizing the need for theory in practice and practice in theory. The use of case studies in teacher education has been an important development in the initial integration of theory and practice. Nevertheless, the narrative quality of written case studies limits their authenticity, problem representations, diversity of perspectives, and ability to bridge theory and practice meaningfully.

HVE formats hold promise for overcoming the limits of written case studies if created with the design principles of authenticity, problem representation, multiple perspectives, and theory and practice in mind. The video ethnography approach to hypermedia cases described herein is interesting in and of itself, but it becomes even more interesting because it allows preservice teachers to develop their ability to see practice more theoretically and to see theory more clearly in practice related to teaching students of diversity. This interaction among the observation of the practice, the access to metacognitive thought about practice, and the immediacy of the theoretical ideas presented promotes deep reflection. In this way, hypermedia case studies have the potential to enrich, extend, and challenge preservice teachers' understanding of practice and theory.
Table 1 Example of the Four Perspectives on the Social Skills Probe

The Case Author Perspective Ideas from the
 Professional Literature

Social Skills: One of the social Social Skills: Students talk to each
skills the students are learning other, providing immediate feedback
here is to wait for their turn to and correction opportunities.
receive the wheat. As they go Feedback and correction in the
outside to plant the wheat, she process of communication ("Give me
introduces the concept of "ladies that, "Sure, you take the ruler,"
first." This may be a cultural etc.) leads to easy acquisition of
oddity for some of the children, vocabulary and language forms,
and it will require additional whereas formal correction
explanation. As they share the opportunities ("What is this?" "This
spoons, they learn more about is a ruler," etc.) lead to self-
turn taking. You will also notice consciousness and anxiety, which
that there is one child who is inhibit rather than facilitate
trying to get Julene's attention language acquisition....
in an inappropriate way. Kagan, S. (1995). We can talk:
Julene.... Cooperative learning in the
 elementary ESL classroom. ERIC
 Clearinghouse on Languages and
 Linguistics, Washington, D.C.

Julene Kendell's Perspective Another Teacher's Perspective

Social Skills: Learning social Social Skills: The teacher in this
skills is a very important part clip made certain that the students
of community building. I'm were learning to take turns. She did
bringing together many different not simply put the wheat out for them
cultures. They're being to grab. She gave them one at a time
introduced to a new culture that and they had to wait their turn.
has many different social Also, she reminded them to say
expectations. One of the things "Please" and "Thank you," and she
they need to learn in this also was very adamant that they
context is the idea of we take needed to learn to share when she
turns and we wait until it's our said, "Ladies first," when there was
turn to do something. Or, we wait not enough equipment to plant the
for an appropriate time to do the wheat outside....
activity, that we have to delay
our gratification sometimes. As I
passed out....


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Author:Teemant, Annela
Publication:Journal of Technology and Teacher Education
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
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