Harnessing the power of fantastic attempts: Kindergarten teacher perspectives on student mistakes

Published on Jul 4, 2019in Journal of Educational Research
· DOI :10.1080/00220671.2019.1598329
Maleka Donaldson (UHart: University of Hartford)
AbstractNow, more than ever, American students at all grade levels face intense pressure to increase academic performance—including kindergarteners. Given that prior research has well established that mistakes and corrective feedback are key elements of the learning endeavor, it is critical to closely examine teachers’ mistake-related experiences within the current educational context. The author reports on an interview study of 25 public school kindergarten teachers, who articulate in their own words how they perceive and respond to student mistakes in practice. Five central themes drawn from thematic analysis reflect commonly reported ways that teachers strive to respond to mistakes in their real-world classrooms: differentiating responses to the learner, building a positive classroom culture, facilitating student self-correction, adjusting instruction, and considering outside factors. The author concludes with a discussion connecting these themes to existing research and considering implications for re...
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