Video Enhanced Reflective Practice: Professional Development Through Attuned Interactions

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I only recently came across the acronym ‘VIG’ (Video Interaction Guidance), through a social services linked support worker involved with a family that has a pre-school aged child.

Video-EnhancedAs a teacher who has only experienced videoing as part of Intensive Interaction programs with pupils, it is very interesting to read about its wider use to enhance professional development. The approach is known by the acronym ‘VERP’: Video Enhanced Reflective Practice.

This edited book is in seven parts containing a total of 23 chapters, which detail a wide range of settings in which VERP has been used. In the preface, the editors advise that while the book can be read from start to finish in the order in which it is set out, readers may wish to dip into sections that are of immediate interest to them. As separate authors have written each chapter some points are repeated. As a VERP novice, however, I found this useful while trying to fully understand some of the terminology and concepts that are fundamental to the approach. At the back of the book there is a very detailed bibliography and a handy glossary of terms used.

There are some useful visual presentations of the dynamics involved in the approach, such as various models illustrating how this way of working with professionals can lead to improved interactions between carers and clients.  There is a table showing the principles of ‘attuned interactions for professional reflections’ that is clear and easy to follow. The chapter ‘Making Sure that Teaching Assistants Can Make a Difference to Children’ will be of interest to anyone working in schools and colleges. It begins with a summary of research that casts doubt on the effectiveness of TAs (the argument is that they are low impact and high cost). The case studies make clear that where VERP has been introduced there are reports of increased staff confidence, perceived competence and job satisfaction.

The book provides a detailed explanation of how and why VERP works: it references a variety of academic sources to show the links with how self-learning can develop using the practices VERP entails. It reinforces this throughout with explanations and examples of how VERP has been used successfully around the world. VERP is unquestionably a well-trialled approach, which has significantly enhanced people’s practice in engaging with children and adults in a wide range of workplaces.

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Hilary Kennedy, Miriam Landor & Liz Todd (Eds) Jessica Kingsley Publishers – ISBN: 9781849054102

Reviewed by Anne-Frances Royle

8.5 Awesome

This book provides a detailed explanation of how and why VERP works: it references a variety of academic sources to show the links with how self-learning can develop using the practices VERP entails. I would recommend this highly.

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