“Coaching Teacher Trainees in the Provision of Peer Feedback: Effect on Attitudes Towards Writing and Feedback-Giving Practices”
AUTHOR: Analía Kandel
TYPE OF ACADEMIC WORK: M.A. in T.E.F.L. Dissertation
ACADEMIC INSTITUTION: School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, The University of Reading
KEYWORDS: Writing, Process Writing, Peer Feedback, Feedback on students’ written work, Attitudes, Innovation Management
On the premise that teachers teach as they were taught, and on the basis of a clash the researcher observed in her teaching situation concerning the way teacher trainees were taught writing and the way they were expected to teach writing, the present study set out to investigate the extent to which the implementation of and coaching in peer feedback (PF) would affect trainees' attitudes towards writing and their own feedback-giving practices.
Attitudes towards writing and feedback-giving practices were explored within a group of trainees that experienced and were coached in the provision of PF. Findings suggest that the treatment had a positive effect on trainees' attitudes towards writing and their own feedback-giving practices. By the end of the study, trainees seemed to have a broader conception of what writing involves, seeing it as a process and as communication with an audience. This broader understanding of writing became apparent through the more process-oriented feedback they provided on a first draft of a student text. Moreover, they seemed to place more value on writing, and their perception of self as writers also seemed to have improved. All this affected positively their feelings about writing which, in turn, also improved their own feelings about teaching writing. Some trainees also reported changed views on the efficacy of different types of feedback for the improvement of the writing skill in English. While some appeared to now rely more on the efficacy of a focus on content and organisation, which was noticeable in the feedback they provided on the student text, others appeared to have begun to trust the efficacy of both providing and receiving PF, and most of them seemed willing to apply PF to various contexts in their future careers. Feedback-giving practices were also investigated through the comparison of the annotations on the first draft of a student text made by the group of trainees who had experienced and received coaching in PF and those of a parallel group of trainees who had only received teacher feedback. By the end of the study, the former group appeared to exhibit more process-oriented feedback-giving practices than the latter, which supported the results obtained in the exploratory part of the study.
Finally, it is suggested that a similar PF implementation and coaching programme to the one presented in this study could be used to teach writing in teacher education contexts with the aim of setting models of good teaching practice that trainees could transfer to their own classrooms in the future.