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Frequently Asked Questions About the Video Study

How do we know the teachers taught as they normally do?

Teachers were asked to do nothing special for the videotape session, and to conduct the class as they had planned. The scheduler and videographer in each country determined on which day the lesson would be filmed. Following agreed upon sampling procedures, videographers were sent to each country to capture on tape lessons as they were implemented in the classroom. To determine whether teachers conducted special lessons, they were asked a series of questions through the teacher questionnaire. Among the questions were those that asked whether the videotaped lesson was part of a larger unit of lessons or a stand-alone lesson; whether the lesson was one that had been prepared especially for that day or had been used before; how long they spent preparing for the lesson in comparison to the amount of time they normally spent preparing; whether the teaching methods implemented in the videotaped lesson were typical or unusual from their normal teaching habits; and the like. The analyses reveal that most eighth-grade lessons captured in each country were taught by teachers who considered the videotaped lesson to be typical of their teaching.

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