Monthly Archives: June 2019

Blog of the Week: 21 June 2019 – Exploring Barak Rosenshine’s seminal Principles of Instruction: Why it is THE must-read for all teachers.

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This post is based on a talk I gave at ResearchEd in Rugby.  The paper in question is Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction published in American Educator in 2012, downloadable in full as a pdf here:

I first came across if after seeing Oliver Caviglioli’s superb graphic summary for How2 – available here:

Principles-of-InstructionDownload here: 

My admiration for Rosenshine is largely informed by my experience working with teachers in various schools and colleges where I’ve been trying to engage people with research in order to support them to improve their practice.  For me, it is the best, most clear and comprehensive guide to evidence-informed teaching there is.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • It resonates for teachers of all subjects and contexts – because it focuses on aspects of teaching that are pretty much universal:  questioning, practice, building knowledge.   There are good examples from English and Maths lessons but…

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Blog of the Week: 7 June 2019 – Is the Feedback You’re Giving Students Helping or Hindering?

In 38% of well-designed studies, feedback actually made performance worse—one of the most counterintuitive results in all of psychology.

If there’s a single principle teachers need to digest about classroom feedback, it’s this: The only thing that matters is what students do with it. No matter how well the feedback is designed, if students do not use the feedback to move their own learning forward, it’s a waste of time. We can debate about whether feedback should be descriptive or evaluative, but it is absolutely essential that feedback is productive.

Add to that concept a second related principle: Feedback should be more work for the student than it is for the teacher. Teachers who internalize and practice feedback based on these precepts will be well on their way to teaching that improves learning.

What the Studies Say

In their review of feedback studies conducted between 1905 and 1995, Kluger and DeNisi (1996) found that in 38% of well-designed studies, feedback actually made performance worse—one of the most counterintuitive results in all of psychology.

Let’s examine what must be the oldest and most common forms of feedback in public education: grades, rankings, and written teacher comments on tests and papers. Letter or numerical grades on papers give students information about their current performance. Class rankings give students information about their performance compared to …

 

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