In Feedback, Isabella Wallace and Leah Kirkman explore our understanding of what is often cited as one of the most powerful tools for enhancing learning, drawing together ideas from leading international thinkers and practical strategies for busy teachers. The Best of the Best series brings together – for the first time – the most influential voices in education in a format that is concise, insightful and accessible for teachers. Keeping up with the latest and best ideas in education can be a challenge – as can putting them into practice – but this new series is here to help.
Each title features a comprehensive collection of brief and accessible contributions from some of the most eminent names in education from around the world. In this second volume in the series, Wallace and Kirkman have curated a collection of inspiring contributions on the theme of feedback and have developed practical, realistic, cross-curricular and cross-phase strategies to make the most of these important insights in the classroom.
Feedback can be understood and implemented in the classroom in a whole range of ways, as Wallace and Kirkman’s practical strategies – based on the contributors’ expert insights – demonstrate. From these contributions, each unique and enlightening in its own right, a number of key themes emerge. One is the need to get the balance right between praise and constructive critique by keeping feedback specific, detailed and firmly referenced to clearly explained criteria. Another is that these same principles should be applied whether the feedback is from teacher to student, teacher to colleague, student to teacher or student to student. Response to feedback is critical: the need to give students the time to reflect on it, to question it, to act on it. Also important is the manner in which feedback is given: kindly, constructively, in a timely way and in an atmosphere of trust. Above all, whether written or oral, effective feedback is primarily about clear, constructive and specific communication. Each expert has provided a list of further reading so you can dig deeper into the topic. In addition, the Teacher Development Trust has offered more useful ideas for embedding these insights as part of CPD.
Suitable for all educationalists, including teachers and school leaders.
Professor Dylan Wiliam points out the importance of formative assessment as a means of enabling the teacher to make evidence-based decisions about each student’s needs.
Art Costa and Robert Garmston challenge the notion that feedback should be about giving praise.
Professor Bill Lucas argues that we must give students the opportunity and choice to accept or reject the feedback advice that we offer them.
Diana Laufenberg places an emphasis on the importance of making time to give detailed, face-to-face feedback against the assessment criteria to each individual student.
Paul Dix provides a detailed account of the use of student wristbands, on which they can record the useful feedback they have been given.
Taylor Mali makes a case for the significance of his own variation on feedback, which he refers to as ‘feedfront’ – giving clear instructions and setting clear goals before a task even begins.
Ron Berger advocates the importance of giving individual, descriptive feedback on specific aspects of student work or performance and of avoiding general, holistic statements such as ‘good work’.
Andy Griffith describes feedback as a two-way process and argues that its success is determined not only by the way feedback is given but also in the way it is received.
Barry Hymer argues that simple praise and reward only serve to keep the teacher in control, thereby robbing the student of self-efficacy.
Jackie Beere focuses on how best to encourage a positive response to feedback.
Mike Gershon illustrates the point that feedback is not a one-off response but a continuing process or dialogue.
Professor Mick Waters suggests inviting students to award points to teachers based on the teacher’s effectiveness in helping the student to learn.
Geoff Petty cites praise as one of the key factors for effective learning.
Shirley Clarke proposes that it is feedback from learners to teachers which constitutes the most significant and productive means of supporting and improving students’ learning experience.
Seth Godin suggests that feedback should offer an analysis rather than simply an opinion.
Phil Beadle argues that focused praise should be considered a very important element when giving feedback.
Teacher Development Trust – Next steps …
Click here to read the review of ‘Best of the Best: Feedback’ on Humanising Language Teaching.