ERIC Number: EJ1046827
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Inspire Learning, Not Dread: Create a Feedback Culture That Leads to Improved Practice
Roussin, James L.; Zimmerman, Diane P.
Journal of Staff Development, v35 n6 p36-39, 47 Dec 2014
Policymakers have turned to teacher evaluation as one way to ensure accountability for school reform. In most evaluation systems, the emphasis focuses on the external: test scores, observations of classroom practices, rubric based assessments, student feedback, evaluation, and student work. While these activities have a place in professional development, they distract from the most important variable of all: the teacher's mindset about continued growth and learning. How professionals receive and apply feedback is the cornerstone in any system for improving teacher performance. Feedback is most often given during teacher evaluations, after classroom observations, after walk-throughs, during peer reviews, and sometimes within the context of coaching. However, this leaves out the teacher's cognitive capital. Cognitive capital defines the inner resources of a teacher, which frames thought and shapes reflection before, during, and after practice--key measures of quality instruction (Costa, Garmston, & Zimmerman, 2014). When leaders foster a school culture that supports emotional resourcefulness and transparency, cognitive capital increases and individuals are more able to receive, interpret, and apply feedback to improve professional practice. This idea of incremental improvement through feedback--one teacher at a time, one classroom at a time--needs rethinking. Instead, reform efforts might be better served by promoting a culture that has learned how to receive and apply feedback in order to build collective wisdom.
Descriptors: Teacher Evaluation, Feedback (Response), Observation, Teacher Effectiveness, School Culture, Evaluators, Human Capital, Teachers, Principals
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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