Elementary Mathematics Teachers' Feedback Practices: A Multiple Case Study

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Hartland, Kristin S.
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Middle Tennessee State University
Feedback is essential in the mathematics classroom for conveying information to the learner about their actions intended to make a connection between what students understand and what is meant for them to understand. In fact, one of the most beneficial things teachers can do in the mathematics classroom to improve student achievement is to provide feedback that identifies the goal, assesses students’ current understandings, and addresses discrepancies in the learning process. Feedback is essential for helping students move forward in their learning, and the beliefs teachers hold could potentially affect the way they provide information to their students. However, the ways in which teachers provide feedback during mathematics instruction and their own implicit beliefs are often overlooked as contributors to the various types of feedback they provide. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which elementary teachers provide feedback during mathematics instruction. I used a multiple case study to explore two elementary teachers’ feedback practices by type and level during their mathematics instruction. The results of this study revealed that (1) although both participants ascribed to an incremental theory, they demonstrated varying commitments to providing self-level feedback, (2) one participant provided all three types of feedback within one classroom observation on multiple days, and (3) both participants provided little to no feedback directed at the process and self-regulation levels overall. The implications of these results are provided.
Elementary Education, Feedback, Implicit Theories, Mathematics, Mindset, Mathematics education, Elementary education, Teacher education