Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Sarah Noonan, Thomas Fish, Aura Wharton-Beck

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This qualitative case study investigated the experiences of 16 Midwestern high school Social Studies and Language Arts teachers regarding the purposes and types of feedback used to promote student achievement. Semi-structured interviews conducted with participants illuminated teacher beliefs regarding the effectiveness of feedback provided to students and the practical considerations influencing their feedback delivery. Participants considered feedback a multi-purpose tool for building relationships, encouraging effort, probing learning gaps, and promoting self-regulated learning. Teachers deemed personal, in-depth conversations with students the most effective feedback method to accomplish all of these goals. Teachers lamented factors preventing them from widely engaging in these personal interactions. The challenges teachers faced resulted in negative emotions about providing feedback in general, though teachers celebrated occasions when feedback proved effective. The findings were analyzed through the lens of Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of the Development of Higher Psychological Processes, and Deci and Ryan’s (1985) Self-Determination theory. Teachers lacked control over factors, such as class size, calendar time, or curriculum standards, causing them to rely on feedback strategies they deemed inferior. These institutional structures likely impeded teachers’ ability to effectively diagnose students’ developmental level (Vygotsky, 1978). These conditions reduced teacher autonomy, an important factor in psychological wellness and intrinsic motivation (Ryan and Deci, 2000). Education stakeholders should emphasize effective feedback as a powerful teaching and learning strategy. Feedback should become a regular part of professional development and emphasized in teacher-preparation programs. Recommendations for further study include the ways teachers allocate time to provide more in-depth, personalized feedback for learning.

Keywords: feedback, teachers’ beliefs and practices, institutional factors impacting feedback, teacher autonomy, feedback costs and benefits, teachers’ emotions, feedback tradeoffs, informal and formal feedback

Keywords

Keywords: feedback, teachers’ beliefs and practices, institutional factors impacting feedback, teacher autonomy, feedback costs and benefits, teachers’ emotions, feedback tradeoffs, informal and formal feedback

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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