Role of Feedback for Student Growth and Holistic Development

Role of Feedback for Student Growth and Holistic Development

Dated: 21 August 2023

A question to the parents, “Do you recall writing a rather complicated spelling multiple times in school? What about learning to pronounce a tricky word? Were you ever asked to repeat it a few times?”. Well, I remember my school days fondly for the fun and mischief that was memorable but also for the feedback that I received on a continuous basis from my kind, concerned educators. It helped me learn in a way that I could never forget.

Learning is incomplete without feedback. It is a loop – learning begins, it is applied, errors are made, feedback is received, feedback is effectively worked upon and the loop closes till the next cycle of learning begins all over again. Feedback mechanisms in a classroom could be verbal/written or through a gesture/a reaction or it could also be effectively conveyed through story-telling. However irrespective of the feedback mechanism and whether the feedback is appreciative or corrective, it must be conveyed in a manner that inspires the student to aim higher subsequently.

To begin with, written feedback is a very important feedback mechanism for students. This feedback is recorded by the teacher in diaries, notebooks or exam papers, and must be taken very seriously by students who wish to enhance their learning, as well as by their concerned parents. From the educator’s perspective, this has to have enough clarity and neutrality so that the student becomes aware of what didn’t go well and where to improve.

Another mechanism is verbal feedback which can be detrimental if not conveyed with sensitivity, as well as with an overall understanding of the student’s mindset. For correcting students with verbal feedback, sandwich technique is the best wherein the teacher ensures that the corrective feedback is sandwiched between two positives.

At times feedback is also conveyed through gestures or reactions. Teachers can effectively communicate feedback by using gestures during discussions, presentations and activities creating a supportive and interactive classroom environment. A nod of approval, a thumbs up or a gentle pat on the back can convey encouragement and affirmation while harsh remarks, raised eyebrows and an icy-cold stare can rather instill a sense of dislike for the teacher amongst students.

Lastly, story-telling can be an effective mechanism to provide feedback. It can be used to create awareness in an interesting way by engaging emotions making the feedback memorable and impactful facilitating deeper learning. Teachers can craft narratives that illustrate desired behaviour and growth and through relatable stories, it can help students to reflect on their actions and make positive changes without feeling directly criticised.

Hence, in the realm of education, the role of feedback cannot be underestimated. It is important to remember that feedback is not just a means of assessment but a powerful catalyst for growth and success of students in school.