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Impact of a checklist on principal–teacher feedback conferences following classroom observations

Region:
Southwest
Description:
In partnership with the New Mexico Public Education Department, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest researchers conducted a statewide experiment in school year 2015/16 to test impacts of a checklist on the feedback conferences principals had with teachers after formal classroom observations. Of the 336 participating schools in New Mexico, the REL Southwest researchers selected half at random in fall 2015 as the treatment group. All school leaders in the treatment group received the checklist as an email attachment, plus a hyperlink to a three-minute principal testimonial video. School leaders in the control group received an email attachment with a guide that reprised the five tips about feedback included in the mandatory New Mexico Public Education Department-sponsored professional development. As of one year later, the checklist had few clear impacts on the quality of feedback, professional development outcomes, instructional practice, and student achievement. The exceptions are that teachers who received the checklist reported that their principals were less likely to dominate the feedback conferences, and reported that they were more likely to follow their principals’ professional development recommendation. The overall usage of the feedback checklist was moderate, with about three-quarters of principals who were encouraged to use the checklist reporting that they saw it, and 58 percent reported using it in post-observation feedback sessions with at least a few teachers. This study suggests that if school districts or state departments of education wish to change school leaders’ feedback conferences with teachers, they need to invest in more substantial training for their school leaders.
Publication Type:
Making an Impact
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
January 2018
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