Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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The Best Resources For Learning How To Best Give Feedback To Students

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I’ve been thinking and writing (in my forthcoming book to be published by Eye On Education) about the most effective ways to give feedback to students. I’ve obviously been trying to apply what I’ve been learning in the classroom, too.

As a one sentence summary, as I’ve posted about previously, the research says it’s best to praise effort and not intelligence.

Here are some resources I’ve found helpful:

What Kind Of Feedback Should We Give Our Students? is a post I have previously written.

The Difference Between Praise & Acknowledgment is another older post.

The Perils and Promises of Praise is an article by Carol Dweck.

Pondering Praise is a nice essay by Joe Bower.

It’s Not About How Smart You Are is an article by Carol Dweck.

Goodbye to “Good Job!”—The Power of Specific Feedback is a useful post by Margaret Berry Wilson at ASCD Express.

“The Praise Paradox” is an excerpt from the book Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, written by by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. It appeared in the March issue of “NEA Today.”

New Marzano Study On “Effort & Recognition”

The words that could unlock your child comes from the BBC.

Carol Dweck’s website for her book, Mindset, contains a number of useful articles on her research, particularly on giving effective feedback.

Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson has written a short article for Carol Dweck’s website. It provides a simple review of the basics on the kind of feedback we should be giving our students, and generally there’s nothing new in it. However, it did make one important point I have not see made anyplace else:

Avoid praising effort when it didn’t pay off. Many parents try to console their child by saying things like “Well honey, you didn’t do very well, but you worked hard and really tried your best.” Why does anyone think that this is comforting? For the record – it’s not. (Unless, of course, it was a no-win situation from the start).

Studies show that, after a failure, being complimented for “effort” not only makes kids feel stupid, it also leaves them feeling like they can’t improve. In these instances, it’s really best to stick to purely informational feedback – if effort isn’t the problem, help them figure out what is.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t provide references to those studies.

“Praise for effort keeps people engaged and willing to work hard”

Use Acknowledgments More Than Praise is by Marvin Marshall.

How to Tell Whether You’re Using Praise or Acknowledgments is also by Marvin Marshall.

An article entitled Choice Words by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey has been published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and it’s an exceptional commentary with practical suggestions on giving effective feedback. I especially like the framework they use — dividing helpful feedback into ones that emphasize student accomplishments, identity and agency.

How To Give Good Feedback is by Annie Murphy Paul.

This next piece is an excellent interview with Carol Dweck. I learn from all of her work, but I found this one particularly interesting because she shared some thoughts I hadn’t heard her say before.

Giving Feedback is by Elena Aguilar and is focuses on instructional coaches giving feedback to educators. However, most of the advice can be easily applied to students, as well.

Quote Of The Day: Giving Feedback

Grant Wiggins and Mark Barnes did a workshop Feedback, and you can see the Storify “notes” and the slideshow here.

Tips for Improving Feedback at the Middle Level is by Debbie Silver.

The Pajarao Valley Unified School District has an excellent collection of resources on Professor Carol Dweck’s work, and it’s been on The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” list for quite awhile.

However, they created another related resource that, for some reason, I discovered is not on that list. It’s an exceptional PowerPoint presentation on how to provide feedback to students that promotes a growth mindset. And, in an added bonus, a portion of it speaks directly to parents.

The Best Learning Motivator EVER! is by Eric Jensen.

The Difference Between Praise and Feedback is from MindShift.

Tips for Giving Feedback is from Elena Aguilar.

How to Turn Praise into Acknowledgment is by Marvin Marshall.

How Adam Grant Just Made Teaching More Complicated

New Ideas on Feedback from IATEFL 2014 is an interesting post.

Pupils benefit from praise, but should teachers give it to them publicly or privately? is from Research Digest.

Additional suggestions are welcome.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

2 Comments

  1. Hello! I’m Caitlin and I’m a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama.

    Praising effort, not intelligence, goes a long way. When a teacher praises intelligence it seems the children who are putting towards effort and still struggling get discouraged and give up. Children crave praise, so when they receive it.. it motivates them.

    Feel free to read my thoughts about your blog.. at my blog! jaynescaitlinedm310.blogspot.com

  2. “Marking for Confidence” gives some specific examples of using feedback to help students become more aware of what they know, gives them a chance to articulate it, builds confidence in their ability to work on difficult problems, and so motivates them to continue.
    Marking for Confidence
    http://www.learningandviolence.net/lrnteach/reflprac/marking_for_confidence.pdf

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