Volume 7, Number 1

Interpreting Physics Teachers’ Feedback Comments on Students’ Solutions to Motion Tasks


1Zahra Parvanehnezhad and 2Samson Madera Nashon,
1Deakin University, Australia and 2University of British Columbia, Canada


This paper investigates teachers’ intentions, when providing their feedback comments to hypothetical students’ written solutions to linear motion tasks. To obtain an in-depth understanding of the teachers’ thinking when responding to student written solutions, a qualitative case study approach was employed using two different data sources: a Problem Centred Questionnaire (PCQ) and a Problem Centred Interview (PCI). Data processing was conducted in two main phases: Initial and Comparative. In both phases we explored patterns about teachers’ foci across student strategies and motion tasks. A main finding of this research is to categorising teachers’ interpretations and feedback on student solutions, based on the extent of teachers’ attentions to Student Thinking and Disciplinary Thinking. This analysis approach refines the previously held view that a high level of teacher content knowledge, and a concurrent focus to both ‘student thinking’ and ‘disciplinary thinking’ are required to provide meaningful feedback on student solutions. The findings indicated that their level of teachers’ propositional knowledge, or their teaching experience were less strongly associated with the nature of their feedback to student difficulties, than with the nature of teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning motion