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.
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.”
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.
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.
Tips for Improving Feedback at the Middle Level is by Debbie Silver.
Additional suggestions are welcome.
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