The feedback session within the context of teacher training and development : an analysis of discourse, role and function
Lesson observation followed by feedback is commonly used within a wide range of teacher training and teacher development contexts. This study describes and compares the behaviour, as manifest in the discourse, within two sets of feedback sessions, and offers explanations for this behaviour. In the first type of feedback session trainers give feedback to trainees as part of a pre-service teacher training course. In the second, Directors of Studies give feedback to practising teachers, in the context of in-service teacher development. The research methods employed led to analysis of data from both etic and ernic perspectives. The conversations in the feedback sessions were video recorded, transcribed and analysed using the methodology of Conversation Analysis, and an etic perspective gained. In addition, in order to obtain an ernic perspective, the perceptions of all the participants were obtained by means of interviews and questionnaires. The findings of the study are as follows: • Both sets of feedback session can be said to belong to the type of discourse described as 'talk at work'. They contain features typical of other conversations identified in the literature as institutional talk, and differ significantly from informal or non-institutional conversations. • The details of the discourse and differences between the two types of feedback session are created as a result of the way the participants perceive their roles and the function of the sessions. In tum, these perceptions and the resulting discourse are, to a large extent, shaped by the institutions for which they work. • The final finding is that, in recursive fashion, the discourse serves to reinforce the perception of the roles and functions so that they become further institutionalised.