Section

Student experience

Abstract

If the purpose of feedback is to reduce the discrepancy between the established goal and what is recognized, then how can this discrepancy be minimized through support and guidance? Feedback is instrumental to a preservice teacher development during their teacher preparation program. This qualitative study examines 31 first year teachers’ previous experiences with feedback during their undergraduate practicums. The two research questions addressed: What can be learned from PSTs’ perceptions of feedback practices utilized in teacher preparation programs? and What modifications or adaptations can be made to current feedback practices and structures in teacher preparation programs to enhance teacher efficacy and classroom readiness? Semi structured interviews provided a comparison of qualitative data and an opportunity for open ended questioning. Using descriptive analysis, researchers discovered that current feedback loops and structures can inhibit pre-service teachers’ ability to make meaning from the information and move their learning and instruction forward. As teacher preparation programs work to establish more dialogic approaches to feedback that provide pre-service teachers with multiple opportunities to reflect individually and collaboratively with university faculty, timing, purpose, and delivery are important components to consider. Although this article is written based on preservice teacher perceptions, the implications pertain to multiple fields and authors share a universal framework for feedback.

Practitioner Notes

  1. The goal of teacher preparation is simple: create teachers who are well equipped with the knowledge and skills to positively impact PK-12 students. Field experiences are embedded throughout teacher preparation programs to provide pre-service teachers (PSTs) with meaningful opportunities to develop their ability and knowledge of effective instructional practices.
  2. As teacher preparation programs work to establish more dialogic approaches to feedback that provide pre-service teachers with multiple opportunities to reflect individually and collaboratively with university faculty, timing, purpose, and delivery are necessary considerations.
  3. What is the timing of the delivery? The timing of the delivery of feedback must be considered. Frequency plays a large role in how PSTs view and utilize feedback.
  4. Do receivers of the feedback understand the purpose? Ties to evaluation and the need for directive solutions impact preservice teachers understanding of the purpose behind the feedback. One way to support this need it to strengthen PSTs’ assessment feedback literacy.
  5. Does the delivery clarify the content and support reflection? As university faculty continue to explore how to provide explicit feedback, delivery methods that support reflection and pre-service teacher’s growth are important to consider. With the purpose of feedback being to help reduce the discrepancy between the intended goal and outcome, pre-service teachers must have easy access and retrieval of feedback.

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