Monday, 15 June 2015

“Study: Feedback doesn’t always help students”

How about that. If you want to really learn, it’s more efficacious to discover than to be told.

A new Vanderbilt University study challenges the assumption that feedback is always a good thing, at least for student learning.
    The study, conducted by Emily Fyfe, a doctoral student at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education, suggests that once a lesson is taught, immediately telling students if they are solving problems correctly or incorrectly can lead to lower performance on subsequent problems and post-tests…
    “In general, the takeaway is that when you’re first introducing something and your students really don’t know much at all about the topic, giving feedback while they’re solving these problems seems really helpful. But maybe on the third lesson, when they clearly already have some knowledge, then it might be more beneficial to give them their own space to do some problem-solving,” Fyfe said Thursday…
    Under some conditions, we may need to refrain from ‘rescuing’ children by providing them with feedback, and instead let them struggle, engage and learn on their own.

Of course, Maria Montessori knew this 100 years ago.

In the Montessori environment, the hands-on didactic materials and the overall design of the learning environment support children to solve problems with a high degree of independence.

[Hat tip Montessori Australia]

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