Formative Feedback in Peer Teaching: Results from a National Survey of Music-
Teacher Educators


Molly A. Weaver, West Virginia University

Jill M. Sullivan, Arizona State University


In recent years, university teacher educators have come under scrutiny for not providing fully qualified teachers for schools. One way to determine pre-service music teacher preparedness is through formative and summative assessment of their music-teaching skills during peer-teaching episodes. The authors of this proposal will present the results of a national survey of music-teacher educators on their uses of formative feedback in peer teaching. Formative feedback is information communicated to pre-service teachers to modify their behavior or thinking (Shute, 2008), or information about the quality of the pre-service teachersÕ performances and suggested actions they can take to improve (Nyquist, 2003). Peer teaching is an instrument for teacher education that provides opportunities for pre-service teachers to practice teaching each other under controlled circumstances in which the complexity of the real teaching situation is simplified regarding the amount of teaching time and the number of teaching activities to which particular attention is given (adapted from Vannatta-Hall, 2010).


In Fall 2014 503 music-teacher educators were surveyed regarding their use of formative feedback with pre-service music teachers during peer teaching episodes. The survey addressed the following questions:


1. In what ways do music-teacher educators prepare pre-service music teachers to peer teach?

2. Who provides formative feedback to peer teachers (e.g., professor, teaching assistant, peers, self)?

3. In which formats is formative feedback provided (e.g., oral, written, video)?

4. What is the timing of the formative feedback (e.g., during teaching, immediately after teaching, delayed)?

5. What types of technology are employed in providing of formative feedback?

6. In what ways is peer teacher self-reflection facilitated?

7. In what ways is peer-to-peer feedback facilitated?

8. What are the values of formative feedback in peer teaching?


This presentation will share methodology, results, and conclusions of this national survey of music-teacher educators (n=262; 52% response rate) as well as implications for music teacher education. Following this, the presenters will engage attendees in a focused discussion of best practices for music-teacher educators to provide various types of formative feedback assessment to pre-service teachers before, during, and after peer-teaching episodes. This discussion may advance the field of music teacher education by enabling attendees to share their wealth of experience–including successes and challenges–in applying various formative feedback strategies. This forum has the potential to improve not only the expertise of university music teacher educators but also the teaching skills of pre-service music teachers.


This presentation is particularly relevant to ASPA #1: Critical Examination of the Curriculum, as it demonstrates the many modes of formative feedback currently being employed as well as the need for us as music teacher educators to further research, develop, refine, and implement effective strategies of formative feedback. It also addresses elements of ASPA #3: Music Teacher Educators: Identification, Preparation, and Professional Development; ASPA #4: Music Teacher Socialization; and ASPA #10: Teacher Evaluation.




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