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
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 ...