Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Early Childhood Education

Date of Award

12-2017

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Rosemary Geiken

Committee Members

Pamela Evanshen, Kathryn Sharp

Abstract

The most powerful influence on student achievement is the classroom teacher and the most effective instructional strategy teachers can use to increase student learning and achievement is effective feedback (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). The research on teacher feedback in kindergarten classrooms is scarce therefore this study helps reduce the void in the literature on the importance of teacher feedback in kindergarten classrooms.

The purpose of this study was to examine effective teachers’ perceptions of the amount and kind of feedback they provide to their students and to determine if their perceptions match the feedback they actually provide. The participants in the study were four teachers from a public elementary school in middle Tennessee. Each teacher received the rating of effective teacher according to their 2015-2016 state-wide teacher evaluation.

This study is based upon Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory which proclaims student learning can be increased when teachers provide the necessary support to complete a task at a level higher than their current level of functioning. Teacher feedback is an effective and efficient instructional strategy to bridge the gap between students’ actual level of understanding and the level required to become independently successful. It is important, therefore that teachers become knowledgeable of feedback that will encourage rather than discourage independent learning.

The qualitative design of this study included observing and analyzing teacher feedback during whole group instruction in kindergarten classrooms. The researcher collected data on four observed levels of teacher feedback: feedback about the task, feedback about the process, feedback about self-regulation and personal feedback about the self.

Teachers’ perceptions of the kinds of feedback they provide most frequently did not match observed levels of feedback. The participants perceived themselves to provide more feedback about the process and self-regulation which are the most effective levels of feedback to increase student achievement. Their perceptions did not match observed levels of feedback provided to their students.

The results of this study may be used as a catalyst for districts to provide professional development to instruct teachers how to effectively use the four levels of teacher feedback to increase student academic progress.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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