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Effective or Ineffective?

What is effective feedback? What are the processes I need to follow? How can this benefit the person receiving the feedback? How can this benefit me?

These, I feel, are questions that you should consider when thinking of peer review. Not only are they questions that you should personally try and connect with, but I believe that they should be questions that continue on with me throughout my career as a teacher.

What is effective feedback?

Well, lets think about what ineffective feedback is. During an input at university, we watched an interesting video that I felt really helped to show us what ineffective feedback is:

Negative feedback can have a significant impact on a person and can really knock their confidence. It can discourage someone from continuing to do something that they may love if they have been given feedback that has not been of any use or has been offensive to them.

Effective feedback is being able to provide critical points that are positive and give support as to what that person could develop and become better at. Effective feedback needs to have a direction and it is also important to try and look at the strengths as well as the points that could be developed.

What are the processes I need to follow?

It is always important to keep feedback relevant to the success criteria. For example, if someone has given a presentation on the history of the Second World War, then it would only make sense to provide most of your feedback on what they have worked on.

You should ensure that you understand exactly what the person is talking about because any information that is missing can make it difficult to form an understanding of what they have worked on.

Be sure to try and give strengths as well as points that could be worked on. I think that is one of my weaknesses when giving feedback. I tend to keep what I believe was good within their work but make them aware of what they need to work on in order to get better. Sometimes it is just enough to say that their work is great and that they should just keep doing what they are doing.

How can this benefit the person giving feedback?

I find that if you are giving feedback on something that you have also been tasked on, then it can really help to develop your understanding of the work further. For example, our TDT was to write a post about practitioner enquiry and then to give feedback on each others posts. This really helped me to see other viewpoints about practitioner enquiry and allowed me to retain more information that I may not have been able to do before hand.

How can this benefit the person receiving the feedback?

Effective feedback can benefit people as it allows them to realize that there are strengths within what they have presented. It allows you to openly listen to what the person giving feedback is telling you and you can decide whether you agree or disagree within your own thoughts. This then allows you to react to the points and improve or you can decide to leave it if you feel that your work is alright.

My thoughts…

I think that it is important to know the difference between effective and ineffective feedback. Although I believe that both giving and receiving feedback is a daunting process, it can really help you to develop you as a person and can make you aware of what you should be confident with and what you should maybe improve.

A classroom environment…

Peer review is something that many pupils will be aware of or become aware of throughout their time in education. It is a process that needs to be taught and practiced correctly within the classroom. It’s important to make children aware that feedback is not just about the negatives and what they should work on. However, it is equally important that as the teacher, you ensure that you are providing effective feedback to help your pupils.

In the words of Education Scotland: “Assessment is for learning.” The only way that pupils can enhance their learning experiences is through engaging with peer review and through being given constructive praise from you as their educator.


What is reflection?

Reflection allows us to think critically about an event or experience that we were part of. It involves looking at not just what happened but also at our thoughts and feelings when we are evaluating.

For me, reflection is very important within a profession such as teaching because it allows us to improve upon the education that we provide for the children. If we do not reflect and evaluate our ways of teaching then the matter of improving the system for children becomes irrelevant.

Going into such a profession without having a knowledge and understanding of reflection, I believe, is a bizarre thing to do because you will not be able to get better at what you want to provide. Reflection is an integral part of your professional practice not just as a student but as a qualified teacher too.

Reflection is about being able to look at your lesson and consider what went well and what could have been better and acting upon those thoughts. There is no use in reflecting on what you have delivered to your pupils but not improving it in order to provide the best possible learning experiences for children.