Why teachers should stop spoon-feeding feedback

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Teachers should not dole out feedback like sweets but should instead encourage learners to recognise for themselves where their strengths and weaknesses lie so they become more self-reliant in identifying the areas they need to work on, says Steven MacKenzie

Teachers need to stop spoon-feeding students

Students know what they are supposed to say when faced with the question: “How do you know how you are getting on in your classes?” Even the most disengaged 16-year-old will, if pressed, be able to rattle off the traditional sources of feedback they receive.

A year ago, I had a conversation with one of my students, Ben, and asked him the above question. Our chat went as follows:

Ben: “What the teacher tells me when we do tracking.”

Me: “Anything else?”

Ben: (long pause) “Maybe scores on tests?”

Me: (in desperation) “Is that all?”

Ben: (padding his pockets to check his phone is still ...

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