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Teacher Feedback during Active Learning:

The development and Evaluation of a Professional Development Programme

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Teacher Feedback during Active Learning:

The development and Evaluation of a Professional Development Programme

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Feedback is one of the most powerful tools teachers can use to enhance student learning. In 2006, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education concluded from classroom observations that it is difficult for Dutch teachers to give their students good feedback in order to stimulate students' learning process and developmental progress. Similar problems were revealed in other school levels and countries, for example in secondary education and in Finland. Giving feedback during active learning may be even more troublesome for teachers. During active learning, students are working in small groups on different learning goals and undertake different learning activities at the same time. They need to achieve task-related goals as well as to develop the meta-cognitive knowledge and skills that are needed for active learning. Yet, teachers often seem unable to provide the feedback that is needed and they do not know how to support the development of meta-cognitive knowledge and skills.Therefore, this research project focused on ways to improve primary school teachers' feedback giving practices during active learning. The central research question is: How can primary school teachers learn to give optimal feedback to pupils during active learning?
To answer this question, five studies have been conducted. In the first study, knowledge regarding teachers' feedback practices was gathered. A category system was developed based on the literature and empirical data. A total of 1465 teacher-student interactions of 32 teachers who practiced active learning in the domain of environmental studies in the sixth, seventh or eighth grade of 13 Dutch primary schools were videotaped and assessed using this system. Results showed that about half of the teacher-student interactions contained feedback. This feedback was usually focused on the tasks that were being performed by the students and on the ways in which these tasks were processed. Only 5% of the feedback was explicitly related to a learning goal. In their feedback, the teachers were directing (rather than facilitating) the learning processes. During active learning, however, feedback on meta-cognition and social learning is important. Feedback should be explicitly related to learning goals. In practice, these kinds of feedback appear to be scarce.
In the second study, the problems these 32 primary school teachers perceive and the beliefs they hold regarding the provision of feedback were investigated. A writing task and an interview were conducted. It appeared that teachers believed that conditional teacher skills, especially time management, hindered them most from giving good feedback. The most widely held belief was that 'feedback should be positive'. Teachers also believed that it is important to adopt a facilitative way of giving feedback, but they found this difficult to implement. Only some teachers believed goal-directedness and a focus on student meta-cognition were important during active learning and teachers did not perceive problems regarding these aspects.
In the third study, a professional development program (PDP) was developed, implemented and evaluated. The goals and content of the PDP were based on a review of the literature regarding feedback and active learning and on the results of the preceding studies. The design of the PDP was based on the extant literature regarding the features which are considered to be important for PDPs, including structural features, goal setting and characteristics of the professional development activities that are part of the program. Effects of this PDP on 16 primary schoolteachers' knowledge, beliefs, perceived problems and classroom behavior were examined via observations, a writing task and a questionnaire prior and twice after the program was implemented. Results showed that several aspects of feedback during active learning were improved, both in the short and in the long term. For example, teachers learned to believe that feedback must be goal-directed and that learning goals need to be communicated to students. In the classrooms, teachers related their feedback more often explicitly to the learning goals.
In the fourth study, the extent to which teachers attributed the success of the PDP to each of the purposefully implemented features of the PDP was examined. The 16 teachers that participated in the PDP completed a questionnaire and four focus group interviews were conducted. Results indicated that teachers value most features quite highly; all features contributed to teachers' professional development according to the teachers themselves. The qualitative data was used to illustrate and specify the theoretical knowledge regarding the features that appeared to be effective in PDP's.
Finally, in the fifth study, the learning process of two of the participating teachers was described in detail. Written reflections, as well as videotaped reflections during the video interaction training meetings were analyzed and related to the effects of the PDP on both teachers' knowledge, beliefs, perceived problems and classroom behavior during te course of the PDP. By relating the learning processes of these two teachers to the literature regarding professional development, we aimed for a rich understanding of the impact of the PDP on teachers' professional development.

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OrganisatieFontys Hogescholen
LectoraatLectoraat Leren en innoveren
Jaar2013
TypeProefschrift
TaalEngels

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