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Using Action Research ‐ To Gauge the Quality of Feedback Given to Student Teachers While on Professional Teaching Practice

Stephanie White (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 3 August 2008



Student teachers completing a three year pre‐service primary teaching degree in New Zealand experience a practical teaching component called professional practice. This is carried out in school placements for block periods and involves a visiting lecturer from their institution observing them teaching to ensure they are meeting their specific learning outcomes. One of the significant aspects of the lecturer visit is the giving of both spoken and written feedback to students on a variety of areas of their teaching practice. This action research was carried out over a two‐year period using the experiences of students in their second and third years to investigate the quality of feedback they received and the ways in which it could be improved. Throughout the study, the researcher used a qualitative research approach that involved in‐depth interviews and surveys with the students and two focus‐group discussions with lecturers. This approach allowed her to focus on her own practice of giving feedback to student teachers and to discover some unexpected aspects about herself as a practitioner. These reflections and other aspects of the study identified the key aspects for best quality feedback practice as; written reflections by the student teachers pre‐prepared questions by the observing lecturer in order to provide structure and guidance for the feedback process; establishment of as much time as possible for the feedback discussions; lecturers employing coaching skills for adult learners; honesty as a valued and welcomed trait; recognition that tacit knowledge is valuable and should be shared; and lecturers being readily available to students and able to provide them with prompt responses.



White, S. (2008), "Using Action Research ‐ To Gauge the Quality of Feedback Given to Student Teachers While on Professional Teaching Practice", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 124-133.



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