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Title: A large-scale quantitative investigation of teacher-feedback and students' on-task behaviour as associated indicators of the social-emotional climate for learning in academic lessons in UK secondary schools using a systematic observation method : 'MICRO'
Author: Apter, Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 1842
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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Systematic observations by 33 psychologist-observers of 228 lessons in 28 UK secondary schools were included in this study. A new method: the Mixed Interval Classroom Observation (MICRO) schedule was used to collect data about teachers’ use of 4 different types of verbal feedback and make associations with the proportion of students’ time in academic classes that they were following teachers’ directions and were ‘on-task’. Key findings from 27 UK secondary schools included: students were significantly less ‘on-task’ than students in UK primary schools; secondary school teachers used low frequencies of positive verbal feedback directed towards academic work and behaviour and much higher frequencies of critical comments directed towards behaviour; teachers’ critical comments directed towards behaviour were significantly associated with lessons where students were less compliant with teachers’ directions; and teachers who used high frequencies of positive comments directed towards academic work and social behaviour were not associated with lessons where students followed teachers’ directions more. The number of teachers who did not use any positive comments about social behaviour was high compared to the findings of previous researchers. Teachers who used verbal feedback were more likely to use more with the lower year groups. Unlike primary students, no evidence was found that secondary students were more engaged with academic work when taught by teachers who used higher levels of verbal teaching behaviour: teachers who talked more. A number of contextual factors were also examined for their association with students’ compliance with teachers’ directions. Findings included: teachers who were more experienced were more likely to be teaching students who followed their directions. Subsequently, every teacher in one particular secondary school that had been placed in ‘special measures’ following an Ofsted inspection, was observed twice, A.M. and P.M., using the MICRO schedule, and the results were statistically compared with the UK dataset of 27 secondary schools described above. Initial findings of this exercise were shared with the school’s senior leadership team (SLT) and their discussion was recorded, transcribed and analysed using the ‘Iterative Learning Conversations’ (ILCS) discourse analysis method (Apter, 2014). Findings revealed that the SLT believed that the exercise of exploring the statistical comparison was of significant utility in strategic planning. The results provided evidence for their beliefs as to why the maths department had been found to have serious weaknesses during the inspection, and that the way that teachers used verbal feedback throughout the school required further monitoring and improvement. Conclusions are drawn about the nature of teachers’ verbal feedback in secondary schools and how Bandura’s (1977) Social Learning Theory and reciprocal determinism provide a robust psychologically explanatory model (more-so than a behavioural stimulus-response model) as to how the bi-directional interaction of teacher-feedback and student behaviour works to indicate the conduciveness of the social-emotional climate for learning in a school.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools