The Nature of Feedback Given to Elementary Student Teachers from University Supervisors after Observations of Mathematics Lessons

Catherine Schwartz, Temple A. Walkowiak, Lisa Poling, Kerri Richardson, Drew Polly


This research explores the frequency and nature of mathematics-specific feedback given to elementary student teachers by university supervisors across a collection of post-lesson observation forms. Approximately one-third of the forms (n=250) analysed from five large universities had no comments related to mathematics.  Forms that did have mathematics-specific feedback varied in terms of the number of summary, strength, and suggestion (i.e., type) comments and in the pedagogical focus (e.g., tasks, discourse) of those comments.  Chi-square tests of independence indicated the frequency of forms with mathematics-specific feedback differed significantly by university. Results of additional Chi-square tests showed significant interactions between the type of comments and university and between the pedagogical foci of the comments and comment type.  Contributing factors and implications, including connectedness of the university supervisors to the programs, professional development provided to university supervisors, and the organization of the forms, are discussed.


feedback; preservice elementary teachers; mathematics; field experience; university supervisor

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