The effects of three types of feedback on teacher performance after training
Burnside, Mary Ardis
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Feedback was given following training to three groups of five teachers and aides each on their performance in utilizing the Interventions component of the Hewett engineered classroom model. The feedback was of three types: instruction/discussion (verbal), contingent modeling, and videotape. The three feedback groups were compared with each other and a control group (n=5) on both behavioral and written measures of skill. Of the five dependent variables studied, two were ratios produced from observational data: the number of interventions undertaken per in-classroom opportunity; and, the number of correct interventions per intervention. The three written measures developed for this study were: a set of scales to measure the teachers' confidence in using the model's components and thus a sign of her willingness to utilize it; a multiple choice test tapping intellectual knowledge of the model and its appropriate utilization; and an open-ended questionnaire designed to elicit a written sample of teachers' in-class behavior in response to problem situations. Although results were not entirely consistent across all measures, the instruction/discussion type of feedback proved to be the most effective in producing the greatest amount of change in in-classroom behavior. Two interesting pieces of information were uncovered in conjunction with the study: one cannot simply rely on written testing after training to ascertain that the teacher or aide is knowledgeable concerning subject matter and its use since written measures of what the teacher says she will do in the classroom did not predict to her actual in-class behavior; and a contradiction was found to the commonsense notion that a high rate of intervention in in-classroom problem behavior produces a higher chance for failure; instead, the more alert a teacher was and intervened, the more likely she was to appropriately intervene. This study also raised the question of particular skills requiring particular types of feedback.