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Towndrow, Phillip A. (Phillip Alexander)
Moving away from the traditional focus on teacher feedback, the present study investigates student feedback practices as well as teacher and student beliefs in two Primary 5 English Language classrooms in Singapore. The study draws on Pollock’s (2012) argument about the need for teachers to “ladle differently” - not always giving feedback but giving opportunities for students to seek feedback (p. 14). Given the syllabus focus (MOE, 2020) on space for students to act on the feedback, and students’ self-regulated learning, the research is pertinent in the Singapore context.
This design-based research (DBR) involves a collaborative intervention focused on surfacing the pedagogical reasoning of teachers in designing tasks embedded with opportunities for student feedback. The intervention includes two classroom iterations (micro-cycles) guided by design principles. Research methods include video-recorded classroom observations, teacher interviews and video reflection, and focus group discussions with students. I analysed the lesson videos using a coding scheme, which incorporated theoretical understandings and insights from the data. To analyse classroom participants’ beliefs about feedback, I used an inductive approach (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) involving open coding and developing categories (Cain, 2012). ‘Episode of pedagogical reasoning’ formed the unit of analyses (Horn, 2010) for examining teachers’ pedagogical reasoning.
Based on Hattie and Timperley (2007), students predominantly offered task-level feedback. Comparatively, students’ feedback at the process and self-regulation levels was far less. Task-level and process-level feedback increased from the preliminary phase to the initial iteration but declined subsequently. Criterion-referenced feedback rose from the first to the second iteration. Students focused on feedback as improvement, and valued interactive feedback with their teacher. Teachers recognised the potential of feedback to improve student performance and their own instructional repertories. However, teachers found one-to-one, interactive feedback infeasible. Both students and teachers considered peer feedback challenging. Given the focus on verbal student feedback, teachers reasoned about the usefulness of documenting student feedback online, difficulties with group work, and the need to adhere to curricular content.
The findings surface key implications for theory, practice and research. The study makes a significant theoretical contribution by mapping feedback as formative assessment on to the instructional core (City et al., 2011). It elucidates how task (re)design is intertwined with the cyclical loop of feedback and uptake (both explicit and implicit) by the student/s and teacher. The study prompts teachers to (re)examine their pre-lesson and in class decision-making in terms of how feedback is formatively employed in their classroom. The findings point to opportunities for not only students’ verbal feedback but also their internal input especially via criterion-referenced feedback (Brookhart, 2008). The study surfaces the need to (re)focus on how feedback is received and not merely given, and the value of feedback-based interactions. The conceptual framework provides researchers meaningful bases for situating where a given classroom intervention lies with reference to City et al.’s instructional triangle and broadly, sharpens the lens for conceptualising research in instructional contexts. The contextually-sensitive design principles elucidate DBR in school settings, facilitating a better understanding of enhancing space for student feedback in Singapore classrooms.
|Appears in Collections:||Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)|
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