Using Student Perception Data for Teacher Reflection and Classroom Improvement
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This paper reports the development, validation and use of two instruments designed to provide teachers with feedback information about studentsʼ perceptions of their learning environment and their attitudes. Data collected using these instruments are analysed to provide teachers with student feedback data as a basis for reflecting on their teaching practices which, in turn, can be used to guide the development and implementation of strategies to improve the learning environment and target attitudinal issues. Data collected over a three year period from a sample of 10 345 secondary students (2042 students in 2008, 4467 in 2009 and 3836 in 2010) in 684 classes (147 classes in 2008, 298 in 2009 and 239 in 2010) across 29 Western Australian schools were analysed to determine the validity and reliability of the two instruments. The results suggest that both of the instruments have strong construct validity when used with high school students. To investigate the processes undertaken by teachers as they used the data as part of an action research process, qualitative data (including entries in reflective journals, written reports, discussions and interviews) were collected from 43 teachers. This qualitative data was used to evaluate the usefulness of the two instruments as tools for teacher reflection and professional development. The practical application of the two instruments indicate that the student feedback data was a useful way for teachers to reflect on their practices and implement changes which resulted in improvements in the classroom learning environment.
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