Clarkson Learning Journey 4 has a focus on feedback. For John Hattie and Shirley Clarke in Visible Learning Feedback (2019), feedback is a consequence of performance. It is second and it occurs after instruction. At Clarkson, the focus on feedback is to engage the hearts and minds of the school and its community to focus on the means to accelerate students’ learning outcomes.
Feedback builds upon the learning and shortens the distance between performance and the goal. High-quality feedback improves student learning and reduces the gap between higher and lower-achieving students. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers explain that teachers both assess student learning and provide meaningful feedback to students on their learning.
In the 2009 meta-analysis Hattie said feedback was amongst the most powerful influences. Educational research shows learning becomes visible when teachers make effective use of feedback. As Hattie said in Visible Learning (2009, p24):
“It is critical that teachers learn about the success or otherwise of their interventions: those teachers who are students of their own effects are the teachers who are most influential in raising students’ achievement.”
Hattie's research tells us that feedback accelerates learning and builds better relationships and addresses social inequity. Feedback gives students a clearer understanding of their progress towards a learning goal.
At Clarkson, feedback to teachers helps make the learning visible in the classroom. The school leadership team promote that teachers must seek and be open to feedback by listening to, and then acting upon, student voice.
Teachers gauge both student understanding and student knowledge. They clear up students' misconceptions and they address reasons for any lack of student engagement. They ensure that the feedback given is received and in a form that can be acted upon to enhance learning. Effective feedback means teachers intentionally making sense of themselves as they reflect on both what is done and what remains to be done. The challenge is to synchronise student learning and make it powerful.
This is the fourth edition of the Clarkson Learning Journey series and it continues to exemplify the potential for success with a networked approach within a professional learning community.
John S Young
Principal Clarkson Community High School
Member Board of Trustees
International Alliance for Invitational Education