Such feedback proves meaningless when not accompanied with a direction to the next level. Many times, it makes us feel undervalued. Our children feel the same when the appreciations are not structured and motivating enough to strive harder. In fact, we all do, because we innately value reassurance and genuine feedback.
As a child, didn’t you get poor grades, when you were casual, overconfident and lazy? Being repeatedly praised for talent or intelligence made you withdraw efforts and you didn’t try hard to improve when a task was difficult. Our children follow this trend probably because we don’t make them understand that struggles, setbacks, and challenges contribute to the overall learning experience.
The way people talk about us impacts our mindset, personality, and eventually outcomes. Therefore, it’s important for caregivers to learn to respond to children in a positive, constructive, and benign manner while giving them feedback.
Detailed Structured Feedback Helps Children When They…
- Lack specific skills required for improvement, or just need to walk a few extra steps.
“Let’s look at the difficult parts. I’ll add more information to help you solve them.”
- Work hard by themselves without losing their focus or need encouragement for not giving up.
“I appreciate that you solved this problem sum on your own. Let’s try a different way to find the answer.”
- Struggle despite consistent efforts but eventually start considering failures as opportunities to learn more.
“It’s okay. Mistakes help your brain grown when you learn from them and plan for the future.”
- Make progress by overcoming challenges and set higher goals for themselves.
“That’s a tough concept that you’ve been working on for some time but the strategies you used are fruitful.”
- Succeed without many efforts.
“Let’s raise the bar. What topic would you like to work next?”
How Does Structured Feedback Look Like?
- Particular, authentic and impactful
(“Yes, it’s tough but you can do it. Your efforts and persistence will pay off.”)
- A constructive review of tasks/efforts using positive evaluative words (“Your hard work and improvement are evident in the assignment. Good job!”)
- Strongly and consistently related to the task and not the individual (“You’ve worked hard to become a good writer. You should challenge yourself with an advanced class in writing.”)
- Independent of individual skills, abilities, talents, marks, grades, achievements, socioeconomic status, etc
(“It’s great that you’ve mastered all formulae despite joining us in the mid-semester. Let’s try something new.”)
- Helpful in assessing performance relating to task execution
(“Wow! You used great strategies for studying and managing time. I can see your growth.”)
The Outcomes Of A Structured Feedback
- Establishes a learning goal and directs them to accomplish specific objectives.
“I really want you to stretch beyond your comfort zone on this!”.
“I loved the creative use of elements. It’ll get better if you use the first point as the central idea and rest as secondary examples supporting different points. What do you think?”
- Gives students time and directions to evaluate their work.
“I like the examples you’ve used but try to concise them. We could discuss the conclusion after you’ve rewritten those points.”
- Increases the understanding of the topic.
“Well done. I would like you to explain more by including the day-to-day applications too.”
- Recommends ways to improve and excel in the future with practice.
“I know it’s challenging. Let’s discuss a plan for you to practise the parts that I’ve highlighted.”
- Fuels opportunities for self-reflection.
“Your opening sentence is amazing and the abstract covers important points. There are major disconnects in the last part. I want you to think through them and discuss the possibilities when you’re done.”
- Builds a strong relationship with student and increases opportunities for peer interaction.
“Give it a try. We can fix these mistakes by finding out what’s holding you. If it’s still hard, A (another student) will help you out.”
This is how feedback affects a child’s mindset and future course of action. When children are acknowledged with a proper review, they start seeing intelligence and skills as things that can be developed over time. It prepares them to take on challenges and bounce back in the face of academic setbacks. Also, feedback is helpful in retention of complex concepts by increasing resilience, persistence, leadership qualities, self-evaluation, and self-motivation in students.
While many schools in Noida Extension and Greater Noida are focussing on holistic curriculum & pedagogical practices. The Infinity School is committed to providing an evidence-based education.
We will focus on using a growth-minded language to appreciate specific work strategy (praise for the process) over talent or intelligence (praise for the person). We believe meticulous, personalised and constructive report card comments will motivate students to improve their abilities to learn.
What do you think? Share your experiences with us.