A Study of Feedback Practices to Enhance Teacher Performance

Herring, Craig, Administration and Supervision - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Young, Michelle, Dept. of Leadership, Foundations and Policy, University of Virginia

This capstone focused on a problem of practice that is common to many schools and one that has persisted for decades: providing effective feedback to teachers. Some of the most important roles an administrator plays in education include evaluator, mentor, and coach to teachers, and, of these, their ability to provide constructive feedback to teachers is critical. This project examined the characteristics of effective feedback, how leaders plan for and deliver feedback, and what conditions exist for teachers to be receptive to receiving feedback. The research took place in three middle schools in a large, mid-Atlantic suburban school district. The study considered school leadership in the roles of the school principal and assistant principals. The literature reviewed included works on school leadership, feedback characteristics, and teacher evaluation systems.

This qualitative study was conducted from March - May 2019. Data were collected through reviewing school documents related to evaluation and feedback, interviews with assistant principals and teachers, and observing leader/teacher feedback sessions. Findings from this study yielded confirmation of the literature on effective feedback, the importance of planning for feedback sessions, the critical role of relationships in the feedback process, and how tenets from instructional coaching improve teacher receptivity.

Based on these findings and drawing on the literature, the following recommendations were made. 1) The evaluation process needs to be streamlined and differentiated. 2) Leaders would benefit from professional learning on effective feedback processes; and 3) School districts should work with principals to develop a protocol and tools to help to evaluate the feedback structures in their schools.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
educational leadership, teacher feedback, teacher evaluation
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