Providing students with appropriate feedback can be one of the most motivating tools in a teacher's toolkit. But the feedback has to be effective. Ways that we can keep feedback relevant include linking feedback to learning objectives and keeping our language non-controlling. "...it has to do with how teachers interact with students, including delivering feedback in such a way that students perceive it merely to be information--not as value-laden judgments of themselves or as attempts to coerce or cajole them into changing their behavior."
Giving students the right feedback is the difference between them feeling empowered and feeling defeated. Despite my own decade worth of teaching experience, this section was particularly compelling to me because of the discussion on non-controlling versus controlling feedback and a fixed-mindset and a growth-mindset. Goodwin and Hubbell (2013) explain the potentially debilitating effects of controlling and fixed-mindset feedback.
Controlling Feedback - Often is reflected in value-laden judgements or attempts to coerce or cajole a student into changing his/her behavior.
Noncontrolling Feedback - Focuses on encouraging, motivating, and guiding learning.
Fixed-Mindset - A belief that aptitude is something innate and not developed thought effort.
Growth-Mindset - A belief that reinforces the importance of effort and its link to achievement.
A growth mindset is crucial, in my personal opinion, for a student’s overall confidence and subsequent success in their academic careers. In order to accomplish this, students need to realize the formula (Effort + Strategies + Help From Others =Success). You need to have a balance of all three in order for it to be successful. (Yeager, 2012). Therefore, students are taught early on that working together is not only important for their social futures, it can benefit them in class. In our Kagan groups, students work together to develop these strategies to help one another (especially when the success of the group depends on this effort and support).