Enhancing Self-Reflection in Children: the Use of Digital Video in the Primary Science Classroom

Valkanova, Y and Jackson, A and Watts, M (2004) Enhancing Self-Reflection in Children: the Use of Digital Video in the Primary Science Classroom. JeLit 1(1).

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This paper examines the use of digital video editing as a tool for encouraging self-reflection in children. In the context of this research, self-reflection is that type of introspective functioning and intentional activity that stimulates intellectual exploration of learning experiences. In particular, this research is keen to study how self-reflection leads to the development of new meaning in a cognate area - in this case in school science.
One underlying assumption to this work is that children learn self-reflection through creating a video-documentary of their own learning activities. The study uses digital video film-making as a means of creating an integrative science learning environment that focuses upon collaborative rather than individual activity. Children develop reflection both by exposure to ideas and through the shaping of an end product within a social peer-group setting. The film editing provides a unique platform for collaborative 'composition' of a visual text as the children address their films to real audiences (peers, teachers, parents). A second key assumption is that children can generate increased self-direction and motivation in science by, for example, thinking about their own learning through a video record of their own activities, and thereby develop a new sense of themselves as learners.
This paper discusses a quasi-experimental approach to 'real-world' research conducted within the ambit of everyday schooling, and analyses the reflective discourse of 30 children in one class, during collaborative science problem solving processes in a south London primary school.