Too often, adults assume that all students arrive to school equipped with the social, behavioral and work-related academic skills necessary to meet social expectations that will serve them in the school environment and beyond. Most students acquire these skills through support and models available from school, family, and community experiences. However, not all students have access to appropriate models or opportunities to practice skills with regular, meaningful feedback (Lewis & Sugai, 1999). Meaningful feedback and/or recognition for accomplishments, or efforts towards achieving set accomplishments, are a necessary part of teaching new skills association (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001).
There are four ways John Hattie suggests that you can use to provide feedback to help your students. These are:
- Affirming what students did well.
- Correcting and directing.
- Pointing out the process.
- Coaching students to critique their own efforts (How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students, 2013)
As more educators and coaches shift toward using a growth mindset approach to promote the acquisition of new academic skills and work behaviors, it is increasingly important to understand the importance of teaching, providing frequent practice opportunities and frequent reinforcement of these new skills and behaviors. In keeping with the growth mindset approach, reinforcement for student effort should be the focus, rather than reinforcement for student outcomes. The intermediary goal for students is that they begin to self-monitor these newly taught, practiced and reinforced skills, with the eventual goal being that these newly acquired skills and behaviors become habit.
The resources provided below provide research and practical applications for providing feedback, using a growth mindset and using reinforcement and recognition with students.
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Lewis, T.J. & Sugai, G. (1999). Effective behavior support: A systems approach to proactive schoolwide management. Focus on Exceptional Children, 31(6), 1-24.
How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Value of Student Feedback Infographic