Michael Chiles, The Feedback Pendulum: A manifesto for enhancing feedback in education

This book contains a detailed examination of a variety of techniques for giving and receiving feedback, including written comments, question and answer sessions and whole class feedback. It also provides useful examples of grids and models teachers can use for giving feedback to students, and gives tips for helping to ensure pupils engage properly with all types of feedback. On top of this, it has chapters on how to provide effective feedback to colleagues and parents. The three changes I want to make in my practice having read this book are:

  1. Start using the GROW model in discussions with parents. In the past I have only really considered this model as appropriate for ongoing coaching conversations but I can see how useful it could be in ensuring focused, honest and productive dialogue with parents. (The GROW model facilitates discussions on goals (what the student wants to achieve), the reality (where they are now), the options (the ways to overcome any obstacles that stand in the way of achieving their goals) and the way forward (what the student needs to do next).)
  2. Allow colleagues to decide when they want feedback on their lessons, rather than just choose a time when we are both free and propose we meet then. If I suggest a time, a colleague is unlikely to say no, even if that time does not really suit them. I might, unthinkingly, be scheduling a slot which makes their already stressful Thursday feel unmanageable. Handing the initiative to the person I have watched enables them to pick a time when they are more likely to be relaxed and receptive to feedback. This means that the feedback is more likely to be effective but, more importantly, it prioritises the wellbeing of the person who has been observed.
  3. Mark work with a class. The book suggests marking under a visualiser, so that students can follow as you annotate the work. I am not sure I would quite do this because I like time to deliberate on the work in front of me and watching me think is probably not a very useful learning experience. What I can see would be valuable, however, is adding simple annotations to piece of work (e.g. asterisks and question marks) and using this to start a conversation with a class about why I had labelled the work thus, and how it could be improved.