‘I wish I was a PE teacher,’ I often found myself saying, ‘they barely have any marking.’ I was confused. Students made just as much progress in their PE lessons as they did in my geography lessons, yet I’d spend 2/3 hours marking their books to make it happen. Why?
I went and observed some drama and PE lessons and found my answer. I saw that in these lessons it was the way the feedback was given that was enabling great progress. Teachers didn’t spend hours covering a piece of work in green pen, but they did provide instant and continual feedback that helped mould students and continually develop their learning.
Sure, it’s more obvious to see when someone isn’t throwing the ball high enough on a tennis serve than it is that they aren’t using examples to support points in a geography essay, but how can we use this concept to enable the same level of timely progression in book-based lessons?
Yes, we want to create an environment where failure isn’t feared, but should we be letting students fail before we correct them a week later?
@geog_kg Geography Teacher – London
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine
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Image credit: Via Sondra Liesen on Flickr under (CC BY-NC 2.0)