Feedback is informal assessment related to a person's performance of a task.
Positive and Negative Feedback
It is not only used to praise students’ efforts and behaviors, but is also an effective way to modify behavior (Pankonin & Myers, 2017). However, positive feedback can be detrimental to students’ learning if it is used without a specific purpose, too frequently, or when it is not necessarily deserved (Cannella, 1986).
Even though positive feedback, when used appropriately, can have the most positive impact on student outcomes, negative feedback is used more often in the classroom with relatively direct, negative effects (Dobbs & Arnold, 2009; Irvine, 1986; Mazer et al., 2014; Wentzel, 2002).
Teachers typically use negative feedback to change a student’s behavior, whether that be to stop a disruptive behavior or to make them try harder at a task (Conroy et al., 2014). However, research demonstrates that when teachers reprimand students, students often continue to engage in the disruptive behavior (Gable et al., 2009; Spilt et al., 2016).
We need to be very cautious when giving feedback to students.
Positive feedback such as letting them know how much they have progressed and how pleasant it is to see them make their efforts to achieve improvement may encourage shy and quiet students. Their participation in class may increase too.
Negative feedback does not need to have a terrible connotation. It's better to start with positive feedback, and then to connect it to the students' opportunity areas. This way, they will know what they did correctly and what they need to work on without feeling exposed nor ashamed.
When a student is having disruptive behavior, it's just fine to be strict, but never make them feel like everything they do is wrong.
I had an experience with a seven year old who challenged authority. I talked to him about his qualities and then I proceed to talk to him about what wasn't right. I explain to him the reasons why his behavior was inappropriate, he listened carefully, and then by the end of our conversation I went back to how I usually manage the class. I never had any cold nor distant behavior towards him because of his behavior. This caused that it stopped and his participation increased considerably. I have not had any more trouble with him ever since.
1. Have the conversation as soon as possible.
Constuctive feedback given in the moment has its advantages:
-It is more likely that done this way it'll be seen as a coaching conversation rather than a review. It is also easier to agree to the context (what was said, expectations, etc).
Note: Postpone the feedback if you're upset and cannot be objective.
2. Acknowledge the person's strengths and contributions.
Do not "sugar-coat" with false praise. Criticism is easily accepted if strengths and efforts have been recognized first.
3. Focus on the problem and its impact, rather than the person.
The person is more likely to react positively to constructive feedback if it is focused on the specific behavior or opportunity area. Otherwise the person might feel attacked or take it personally and react defensely.
(Firm Leader, Inc., 2011)