What am I learning today? How well am I doing? How can I improve? What does success look like? What am I doing this for? — these are some of the questions our students should understand before any learning can happen.
Did all the class really understand? What impact does my teaching have on students’ learning? Do they all know what they’re expected to do? What are they really thinking? — these are the questions we, the teachers, should ask before any teaching can happen.
According to the reputable researcher in education John Hattie, a teacher’s fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of their teaching on their students’ learning and achievement. The main focus should be on learning rather than teaching. In this way, both learning and teaching become visible.
First we need to share the learning intentions with our students. Even better, let’s produce them together, so that the students would be able to evaluate their progress against the very intentions.
We then should make sure our students know what success looks like before they start. Drawing from Hattie, we’ll have to create statements that describe how both the teacher and the learners will know that they have been successful in achieving the learning intention.
Finally, we need feedback which is helpul and encouraging rather than shallow and undermining. It’s important what our students give feedback on, but it is also important how we question them.