Student Feedback Dilemmas
Students want feedback...sort of. What do they REALLY do with feedback? Honestly,
But honestly, regardless of the method, I still feel that we are doing students a huge disservice. Not because we are experimenting and finding ways to mix up the feedback. Not because the students don't seem to really look at our comments. But because we have yet to find a successful, scalable approach to inspiring our students to WANT to linger on an assignment and improve their work. They do this all the time through their extra-curricular activities (sports, music, drama, robotics, etc.). They will spend HOURS pursuing their passions outside of school. Whey can't we find a way to support their passion DURING school? This, I think, is a much deeper issue than I could fairly comment on here because it is the bigger question of education in our country. Colleges and universities profess to have certain expectations and thus high schools need to work to meet those expectations. So middle schools need to "prepare" students for the high school expectations and that then pushes down to elementary schools and so on. I think I am overly sensitive to this whole cycle because our high school is college prep, not comprehensive. Thus, the course offerings are more limited and passion is often only found outside the classroom for many students.
A true overhaul of education expectations, starting with higher education might provide some solutions to this dilemma. But that isn't realistic. So until such time as a clear solution is presented, I think it is imperative that we as educators continue to collaborate with each other, be willing to take risks, and try new approaches in our classrooms to find a process that works for us and our students to deliver meaningful feedback. I know I don't have the answer but I am always willing to learn from others who have something that is working to figure out how to apply it at our school.