Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Using cognitive task analysis to capture how expert principals conduct informal classroom walk-throughs and provide feedback to teachers
by Hammitt, Chad S., Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2014, 178; 3680853
Abstract (Summary)

Informal classroom walk-throughs conducted by school principals with feedback provided to teachers has been demonstrated to improve learning achievement in kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) education. Principals are often trained by experts to conduct these walk-throughs. Unfortunately, research shows that experts may omit up to 70% of the critical information needed by trainees to replicate their expertise. The purpose of this study was to capture the knowledge and skills expert K-12 principals use when they conduct informal classroom walk-throughs and provide feedback to teachers. Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) semi-structured interviews were conducted with three principals who were qualified as experts using both qualitative and quantitative measures. Action and decision steps, as well as standards, equipment, and conceptual knowledge from individual subject matter experts (SMEs) were captured and aggregated into a gold standard protocol which was reviewed by a fourth expert. The study also sought to identify and quantify the number and percentage of expert knowledge and skills omissions when the principals described how they conducted classroom walk-throughs and provided feedback to teachers. Findings indicate that expert principals omitted an average of 54.76% of the action and decision steps when compared to the gold standard protocol. This study extends the potential negative effects of relying on experts for instruction and curriculum development. The expert knowledge and skills captured by CTA methods may be used to train pre-service and in-service principals in performing the complex instructional leadership task of informal walk-throughs and providing feedback to teachers, which may ultimately improve teachers' classroom instruction and student achievement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yates, Kenneth A.
Commitee: Lucid, Joan, Samkian, Artineh
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education (Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Educational psychology
Keywords: Classroom walk-throughs, Cognitive task analysis, Feedback to teachers, Informal classroom walk-throughs, Informal teacher evaluation
Publication Number: 3680853
ISBN: 978-1-321-53235-7
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