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Title: Journeys in feedback : undergraduate primary student teachers' uses of personal and professional social networks to gather and interpret feedback, and the extent to which feedback influenced their reflective practices
Author: Headington, Rita
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 5548
Awarding Body: University of Greenwich
Current Institution: University of Greenwich
Date of Award: 2016
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This study explored how a cohort of undergraduate primary student teachers gathered, understood and interpreted feedback through their personal and professional social networks. It considered the extent to which feedback influenced their ‘reflective practice’: defined here as a ‘threshold concept’ (Meyer and Land, 2003) of Qualified Teacher Status in initial teacher education (DfE, 2011a). While the UK’s National Student Survey (NSS) (HEFCE, 2016) consistently identified ‘feedback’ in higher education as weaker than ‘assessment’, Evans (2013) noted that students’ ‘feedback landscapes’ went beyond their ‘academic learning communities’. Structured upon Blumer’s (1969: 2) three premises of symbolic interactionism, where meaning ‘is derived from social interaction’, this study combined 3-year, longitudinal social network analysis data at cohort [n=115] and ego-levels with seven students’ diary-interview data and related statistics. Cumulative analysis revealed students’ use of trusted, informal networks of peers and family members for emotional and academic feedback. Complex stories of students’ feedback journeys exposed students’ making meaning of tacit ‘tutor-constructed artefacts’ (Orsmond and Merry, 2015) and identified peer feedback networks that aided information flow and social capital growth through communities of practice. Tunnel metaphors illustrated students’ journeys through light, darkness, obstacles and ‘personal epiphanies’ (Denzin, 1989) with collegial explorations and prompt feedback usage facilitating progress. Models identified that production-level and content-level peer feedback, when used with tutor feedback and artefacts, enabled deeper interpretation. Informal feedback networks influenced individuals’ reflective practice which then ‘filtered back’ to benefit other students’ feedback journeys. Through its auto/biographical discussion, the study contributed new knowledge, exposing the existence and use of students’ personal and professional feedback networks. Three inter-related professional practice recommendations to improve feedback were made: firstly, through identifying overt cross-course connections; secondly, through cross-course feedback moderation; thirdly, by empowering students’ engagement with professional and academic reflective practices.
Supervisor: Jameson, Jill ; Farr, Jacqueline Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education