14 SES 01 A, Reading Competencies and Writing: Parental Feedback, Family and Teachers' Perspectives
Parental support is considered to be an important prerequisite for primary school students’ learning processes at home and at school. Especially, parents’ feedback on learning processes and learning outcomes is regarded to be an important factor for primary school students’ competencies and their performance-related personality development. In this context, the concept of feedback is understood as information by significant others (e.g., parents, teachers, peers) with the intention to support students’ learning processes and to clarify discrepancies between actual performances and desired learning goals (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). For example, Hattie (2003) points out that feedback often relates to “aspects of one’s performance or understanding“ and is considered to be “a `consequence´ of performance“ (p. 2). Following Eccles’ (2005) ‘Expectancy-Value-Theory’, feedback of significant others on learning processes and learning outcomes leads to an increase or a decrease of their intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivation. Conversely, effects of feedback on learning processes on children’s learning outcomes are mediated by their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation can be understood as the intention to learn specific skills or to solve learning tasks, whereas extrinsic motivation represents the intention to perform an action in order to achieve positive consequences and/or to protect oneself from negative consequences (e.g., Graham & Weiner, 2012).
In recent studies, the role of parental feedback for students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation could be shown in various studies (e.g., Gonzales-DeHass, Willems, & Holbein, 2005). In addition, correlations between children’s perceptions of feedback and their learning outcomes could also be proved (e.g., Teodorović, 2011). Furthermore, the importance of students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for their acquired competences was revealed in many studies (e.g., Hattie, 2009). In detail, Schaffner, Schiefele, and Ulferts (2013) could for example provide evidence for the fact that students’ intrinsic reading motivation is more important for their reading comprehension than for their extrinsic reading motivation.
However, the question whether parents’ feedback on learning outcomes corresponds to children’s perceptions of the parental feedback is not completely answered. Currently, one can widely observe contradictory findings concerning the correspondence of pronounced and perceived feedback. In present studies, correlations between teachers’ pronounced positive feedback and students’ perceived positive feedback were for example comparatively on rather low levels (e.g., Glen, Heath, Karagiannakis, & Hoida, 2004). Still, there is a need of empirical evidence on how children deal with feedback that they perceive from their parents. Until now, there are no investigations that deal with this specific research subject. For this reason, our study examines whether children’s perceptions of the parental positive and negative feedback correspond to parents’ feedback on learning processes and learning outcomes. According to the feedback theory by Strijbos and Müller (2014), one can even expect close relationships between pronounced feedback by significant others and children’s perceptions of feedback.
Following Eccles (2005), we assume that primary school students’ reading comprehension is significantly predicted by their parents’ feedback and their perceived feedback on reading processes as well as their intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation (H1). Furthermore, we expect primary school students’ perceived positive and negative feedback to be significantly explained by their parents’ positive and negative feedback on reading processes (H2). Finally, we make the assumption that the effect of parents’ positive and negative feedback on students’ reading comprehension is significantly mediated by their intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation (H3).
In our study, N=407 third and fourth grade students from North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany as well as their parents were asked to fulfill questionnaires. In detail, 211 girls and 196 boys participated in our study. Students’ average age was nine years (M=9.33, SD=0.78). They were asked to provide information on their perceived parental positive and negative feedback on their reading processes and their intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation. Furthermore, they filled in a reading comprehension test. Moreover, their parents’ positive and negative feedback on reading processes was assessed on the basis of a questionnaire. In detail, primary school students’ perceptions of their parental positive (6 items, e.g., “How often do your parents tell you these things after you have read a text? – Well done.“, M=3.56, SD=1.01, α=.90) and negative feedback (6 items, e.g., “How often do your parents tell you these things after you have read a text? – That’s not good enough.“, M=1.69, SD=0.68, α=.81) were measured on the basis of two questionnaire scales. We adopted both scales from the work of Burnett (2002). The children made their assessments on 5-point Likert scales. In addition, students were asked to provide information on their intrinsic (4 items, e.g., “Why do you read when you are not at school? – I read because it is fun.“, M=3.35, SD=.74; α=.80) and extrinsic reading motivation (9 items, e.g., “Why do you read when you are not at school? – I read because I want to be the best student in the reading lessons.“, M=2.69, SD=.73, α=.85). Both scales were developed by Stutz, Schaffner, and Schiefele (2014) and used by us in their original forms. On both scales, the students rated their agreement towards each statement on 4-point scales. Students’ reading comprehension was assessed by the standardized German reading comprehension test called ELFE 1-6 (Lenhard & Schneider, 2006; 20 items, M=13.45, SD=4.91). Finally, two scales were applied to investigate parents’ positive (6 items, e.g., “How often do you tell your child these things after it has read a text? – That’s really good work.“, M=3.90, SD=0.78, α=.87) and negative feedback on children’s reading processes (5 items, e.g., “How often do you tell your child these things after it has read a text? – You make a lot of mistakes.“, M=1.78, SD=0.65, α=.79). The parents made their assessments on 5-point Likert scales. The scales were developed by Burnett (2002) and adopted by us.
For the evaluation of our hypotheses, a structural equation model was calculated in Mplus (version 6; Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2010) to test whether primary school students’ reading comprehension can be predicted by their parents’ feedback and their perceived feedback on reading processes as well as their intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation. In addition, we modeled parents’ positive and negative feedback on reading processes as exogenous latent variables for primary school students’ perceived positive and negative feedback. Furthermore, primary school students’ intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation were applied to be mediators between parents’ feedback and students’ reading comprehension. The empirical structural equation model shows a good fit to the theoretical model structure (χ2=1126.43, df=666, χ2/df=1.69, p≤.001; CFI=.91; TLI=.90; RMSEA=.04; pclose=1.00). Supporting hypothesis H1, the results of the structural equation model indicate that students’ reading comprehension can be predicted by their intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation. However, students’ reading comprehension can neither be explained by their parents’ feedback nor by their perceived feedback on their reading processes. Supporting hypothesis H2, parents’ negative feedback predicts students’ perceived positive and negative feedback on reading processes. Not supporting hypothesis H2, students’ perceived positive feedback is not predicted by parents’ positive feedback. Finally, the effect of parents’ feedback on primary school students’ reading comprehension is not mediated by their intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation. Thus, hypothesis H3 must be rejected. Overall, the results of our study point out correlations between parents’ feedback and students’ perceived feedback on reading processes. Contrary to our expectations, primary school students’ reading comprehension is predicted by their reading motivation, but not by their parents’ or their perceived feedback on reading processes. In further studies, these unexpected findings need to be taken into consideration. For this purpose, alternative methodical approaches (e.g., observational studies, qualitative studies) should possibly be applied.
Burnett, P. C. (2002). Teacher feedback. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/26833/2/26833.pdf Eccles, J. S. (2005). Subjective task value and the Eccles et al. model of achievement-related choices. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 105-121). New York: The Guildford Press. Glen, T., Heath, N. L., Karagiannakis, A., & Hoida, D. (2004). Feedback practices in a sample of children with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 9(1), 54-69. Gonzales-DeHass, A. R., Willems, P. P., & Holbein, M. F. D. (2005). Examining the relationship between parental involvement and student motivation. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 99-123. Graham, S., & Weiner, B. (2012). Motivation: Past, present, and future. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (Eds.), Educational psychology handbook (Vol. 1, pp. 367-397). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Hattie, J. (2003). Why is it so difficult to enhance self-concept in the classroom: The power of feedback in the self-concept-achievement relationship. Paper presented at the International SELF conference, Sydney, Australia. Hattie, J. A. C. (2009). Visible learning. A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London, New York: Routledge. Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112. Lenhard, W. & Schneider, W. (2006). ELFE 1-6. Ein Leseverständnistest für Erst- bis Sechstklässler [ELFE 1-6. A reading comprehension test for first to sixth graders]. Göttingen: Hogrefe. Muthén, L. K. & Muthén, B. O. (1998-2010). Mplus User’s Guide (6th edition). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén. Schaffner, E., Schiefele, U., & Ulferts, H. (2013). Reading amount as a mediator of the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation on reading comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(4), 369-385. Strijbos, J.-W. & Müller, A. (2014). Personale Faktoren im Feedbackprozess [Personal factors in feedback processes]. In H. Ditton & A. Müller (Eds.), Feedback und Rückmeldungen. Theoretische Grundlagen, empirische Befunde, praktische Anwendungsfelder [Feedback. Theoretical principals, empirical findings, and practical fields of application] (S. 83-134). Münster: Waxmann. Stutz, F., Schaffner, E., & Schiefele, U. (2014). Factor structure and construct validity of a reading motivation questionnaire for elementary school students (Development of an instrument measuring reading motivation in beginning readers). Unpublished Manuscript. Potsdam, Germany: University of Potsdam. Teodorović, J. (2011). Classroom and school factors related to student achievement: what works for students? School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 22(2), 215-236.
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