Date of Award

Fall 11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Robert Steffes

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom


The purpose of the study was to investigate middle school students’ perceptions of teacher feedback, middle school teachers’ perceptions of the same feedback, and the extent to which those perceptions matched. While research into feedback practices was rich, few studies investigated middle school students’ perceptions and experience with feedback practices. The study aimed to address possible miscommunication between teachers and students which may negatively impact middle school students’ learning trajectories. Middle school students and teachers from a Midwestern Independent school participated in the study. Student data was examined in aggregate and by race, gender, grade level, years of experience at the school, and student academic self-ratings. Data was acquired using surveys, focus groups, questionnaires and interviews comparing middle school student and teacher responses to 1) clarity of feedback messages, 2) effectiveness of feedback messages, 3) feedback delivery systems and 4) how feedback is used by middle school students. The study also compared trimester grade point averages of middle school students who participated in a 6-week feedback training session intended to improve feedback engagement. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of data revealed that while there were significant differences in how middle school students and teachers view and interpret teacher feedback, middle school students find teacher feedback to be highly valuable and crave instructive rather than evaluative feedback to help improve their work. The evidence also revealed the advantages and limitations of instructing middle school students on how to be better interpreters and users of teacher feedback. The researcher suggests educators need to incorporate explicit feedback iii protocols in their classrooms including providing reflection time and opportunities for middle school students to practice becoming better receivers of feedback. The researcher also recommends educators proactively seek middle school student input concerning the type of feedback desired and how to deliver that feedback.


Copyright 2018