Title

To investigate, how peer feedback contributes to enhance grade 5 science teacher’s formative assessment practices in a private school in Hunza

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Peer-feedback is considered to be the central process in the formative assessment that provides a platform, which helps both, the giver and the receiver, to progress and improves, instead of arguing about the past performances. It also encourages a collaborative dialogue between the observer and the participant, where two-way feedback takes place. This study investigates how peer-feedback contributes to enhance grade 5 science teacher’s FA practices based on a study in a private school in Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan. The design of the study employed an action research under a qualitative approach over eight weeks. The data collection tools were; semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, document analysis, and reflective journals. The data was collected in three main phases: reconnaissance phase, action phase, and post-action phase. Particular attention was paid to ensure that the participant-teacher understood that observation and feedback was a developmental mechanism rather than an evaluative process. The overall analysis and findings in the reconnaissance stage indicated that the teacher’s knowledge of peer-feedback in the selected school was very limited and unclear. Furthermore, the data revealed that there is no feedback mechanism to support student’s learning. Since the school had introduced a virtual teaching-learning process due to COVID-19, the teacher’s focus remained to complete the lesson in the given time. However, the data gathered during the action stage showed that the friendly environment enabled the participant-teacher to examine supportive and collaborative discussion and revisit her earlier notion about peer-feedback and FA practices. For instance, the encouragement and support provided to her gave her an opportunity for self-reflection and enhanced her confidence level. As a result, she expressed her desire to share the pedagogical and subject matter challenges openly. The study found that the nature of peer-feedback during COVID-19 has great potential to enhance the competencies of teachers. Therefore, it is essential to use the ‘teachers observing teachers’ strategies effectively by the school administrators that enable a culture to cultivate a noncompetitive exchange of ideas and promote a certain level of trust. Thus, this research provides evidence of participant-teacher’s learning about peer-feedback and FA that resulted in the collaboration with the peer-researcher. This study reveals that school culture could enhance teachers’ practices within their workplace, but it needs extra effort and training. The analysis also informed that the teachers in the selected school are hardworking and competent, but they need proper guidance, support, and peer-feedback, which should be included in the school policy and made part of their daily practices. Therefore, the school needs to revisit the teaching approaches to improve the teaching-learning process. For that purpose, special (CPD) training should be arranged for teachers after intervals, which could help them to work collaboratively and improve the teaching-learning process.

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