Giving feedback on teacher performance: Challenges and successes

Edwards, S (2006) Giving feedback on teacher performance: Challenges and successes. In: CLESOL 2006: Conference on Community Languages and ESOL in New Zealand, 29 September - 2 October, 2006, Napier, New Zealand. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or Summary

This paper reports on the challenges encountered and the successes experienced while giving feedback on teaching performance during an introductory TESL/TESOL qualification offered at the Waikato Institute of Technology. The paper brings together experiences over eleven occurrences of the programme, and concludes with the author’s current thinking on the central question: What kind of feedback is most likely to result in changes in teacher trainees’ behaviour? It is generally agreed that a major aim of teacher education programmes is to produce teachers who are capable of reflecting on their own performance and using the insights gained from that reflection to improve aspects of their subsequent teaching performance. The feedback session, where teaching performance is discussed, is therefore critical to teacher development as it provides an opportunity for trainees to become “aware of how far they can affect what goes on in the classroom so that on future occasions they are able to improve by themselves.” (Gower, Philips and Walters, p. 199). The challenge for teacher trainers is to conduct the feedback discussion in a way that best promotes the trainee’s understanding of what happened during their lesson, and the ability to translate that understanding into plans for future teaching. Heron (1990, cited in Randall & Thornton, 2001, pp. 79-80) suggests a framework of ‘interventions’ which were found to be useful in reflecting on the role of the trainer and possible responses to challenges encountered. The experience of the author seems to indicate that a non-directive approach to giving feedback to trainees undergoing initial teacher training may not lead to changes in teacher behaviour, and that it may be more useful for trainers to take a more ‘advisor-directed’ approach.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords that describe the item:feedback, teacher trainees, TESOL
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions:Schools > School of Education
ID Code:1351
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Deposited On:27 Nov 2011 21:47
Last Modified:27 Nov 2011 21:47

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