Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


David J. Connor

Committee Members

Alberto Bursztyn

Wesley Pitts

Subject Categories

Special Education Administration | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


video as professional learning tool, special education teacher teams, students with disabilities, video clubs, teacher evaluation, Danielson Framework for Teaching


This dissertation focused on studying ways in which a mandated professional development policy influenced teachers’ professional learning within a special education school and within a single collaborative teacher team. The study explored Advance, the teacher evaluation system introduced by the NYCDOE to support teaching and learning. An emphasis of the research was utilizing video as a professional learning tool to gather specific evidence in conjunction with the Danielson Framework for Teaching to support teachers of students with disabilities. The primary methodology driving the study was case study; however, ethnography and action research were used for data collection analysis. Video proved to be useful in supporting teachers learning as it provided the “professional vision” which allowed teachers to “notice and interpret significant events” that took place in one teacher’s classroom. This study makes it clear that the framework is, indeed, not a one-size-fits-all tool to guide the evaluation process and professional development of teachers. However, the framework can be used to inform classroom practices and provide teaching and learning language to guide feedback even within special education classrooms. The possible examples provided under the current evaluative mechanism does not provide relevant supports for classrooms with students with disabilities (SWD). This study points to the knowledge gaps amongst school leaders who work with teachers of students with disabilities and who apply the framework. Among the key claims that this study makes about video as a professional learning tool are that it presents opportunities to (1) facilitate discourse in a collaborative team, (2) identify problems of practice, (3) define possible examples specific to special education classrooms, and (4) provide the teachers a lens through which to see their own practices.