Self-Efficacy, Locus of Control, and Social Attitudes: Generation Media Responds to Teacher Commentary
AuthorClayton, Erica Reynolds
Committee ChairMountford, Roxanne
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn an effort to understand the ways that students perceive teacher commentary on their papers, I constructed and employed a study in the fall of 2000, sponsored by both the Council of Writing Program Administrators and the National Council for Teachers of English The study involved four trained graduate instructors from The University of Arizona English Department and approximately twenty-five, first-year composition students from a section belonging to each instructor. Specifically, I was curious about the ways that formative evaluation, that is, teacher commentary provided during the drafting stage of the writing process, affected students during their writing processes from a cognitive, emotive, and behavioral perspective. In other words, I was asking if students: (1) understood teacher comments as they were intended; (2) whether certain comments evoked positive or negative emotion in students; (3) based on the comments provided did students choose to revise; and (4) if students did choose to revise, why did they do so and in what way?Questions concerning the way teacher commentary affects students are important ones to ask because the ways that students are affected by feedback can also affect their perception of their abilities and their willingness to perform a task in the future. Equally of import is questioning the way a student comes to the teacher's text. Social psychologists suggest that one's state of mind upon receiving feedback inform the ways in which the feedback received. And finally, it is believed that isolated demographic populations, thanks to the stimuli and mores of their particular era and environment, may react to feedback from authority figures in surprising but similar ways.My research uncovers that students' self-efficacy and perceived locus of control, both tenets of social and cognitive psychology, indeed influence the way that they perceive teacher commentary and the way that they respond behaviorally through revision practices. I also suggest that contemporary students, deluged by media and entertainment, may not be responsive to teacher commentary, especially when it is perceived as negative in ways that writing teachers might not anticipate.