12 Summary and Reflection

Dr. Susan Eliason

Using feedback effectively

Think about a time you received feedback.  What did you do? Did you listen and try to learn?  Did you ask questions to receive as much detailed information as possible?  Did you become defensive? Use the chart below to self-assess your current skills.

Challenge 1:  How receptive are you to feedback?

 

Statement used to measure your current skill in receiving feedback Rarely Sometimes Often
I accept the feedback given
I don’t overreact or take feedback personally
I try to learn from the feedback, even if I feel it is poorly given
I’m willing to learn from questions asked about my writing
I attempt to turn every feedback session into a useful encounter
I am committed to listening and learning in all feedback situations

 

Challenge 2:  How did you use feedback?

Reflecting on tutor feedback on your essay/assignment

Please tick one or more comments as appropriate This is what I did I would have liked to do this, but didn’t manage it I didn’t think this was necessary This was just not possible for me I’ll do this next time This did not apply in this case
I read the tutor’s comments carefully.
I read my essay again to see how the tutor’s comments applied.
I noted things I needed to do before the next assignment.
I looked back again at the assignment brief to see the extent to which my essay had complied with it.
I looked forward to the next assignment to see which tutor comments might apply to my preparation for the next one.
I followed up tutor advice on further reading.
I used the feedback to check up on the things I did best in my essay, so I can build on my strengths in my next essay.
I followed up tutor advice on my own writing practices.
I shared my feedback with one or more other students to see how the commentary on my work compared with theirs.
I considered aspects of my approach on which I would especially ask for feedback next time.
I asked my tutor for further clarification on comments which I didn’t understand.
I identified any feedback comments which I felt were unjustified, so that I could find out more about them from my tutor in discussion.

Taken from ‘Making feedback work’ by Phil Race, available at http://www.phil-race.com/files/feedbackcom.doc [accessed 20.02.08].

 

The NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria & Guidance for Assessment support using feedback as seen in criteria 6.B.01:

All teaching staff evaluate and improve their own performance based on ongoing reflection and feedback from supervisors, peers and families. They add to their knowledge and increase their ability to put knowledge into practice. They develop an annual individualized professional development plan with their supervisor and use it to inform their continuous professional development.

Receiving feedback well is a skill. I like to think of it as a gift so I know how to improve or that I’m doing something helpful.  Feedback is formal and informal, verbal and non-verbal, and can be from supervisors, colleagues, peers, vendors, families, and children. Being good at receiving feedback allows us to get better at our jobs and improve our working relationships. Leaders who receive feedback well provide an invaluable model.  You are a role model in your work with children and families.  One of the best ways to improve our ability to give feedback well is by improving our understanding of what it takes to receive feedback well.As you watch the 6 minute TedTalk video by Sheila Heen How to use others’ feedback to learn and grow  Think about your google bias (if you have one)?  How can you improve the way you receive feedback?

Source: Stone, D. & Heen, S. (2014). Thanks for the feedback: The science and art of receiving feedback well.  New York:  Viking.

 

Challenge 1: Appreciation, Coaching, Evaluation Discussion Questions

Think of instances where you were looking for one type of feedback (appreciation, coaching, or evaluation) and you received another. What was your response? We often desire different kinds of feedback from different people in our lives.

From whom would you most value appreciation right now, and for what?

Coaching?

Evaluation?

What ideas might you have to get more of the kind of feedback that you need?

What kind of feedback is most frequently given? How?

What kind is least frequently offered?

Why do you suspect that is?

How is evaluation expressed (both verbally and non-verbally) in your work environment? When was this evaluative feedback helpful to you and when not?

Whose coaching has been most helpful to you? What did they do that you found so useful?

How much appreciation is expressed in your workplace? Does it matter to you how it is expressed – privately, publicly, words, actions, quality time?

When you give feedback, is it most often evaluation, appreciation, or coaching? What inclines you to tilt in one direction over another?

How do you handle feedback with families? In what way does this affect our working relationship, and what could we change that would improve things?

Reflection

We each are a composite of what we believe, how we understand things, and the actions we take. As a leader, it is critical that your core values—your guiding principles—inform your leadership beliefs, thoughts, and actions.” Maurice Sykes

In effective classrooms, teachers are the leaders.  Thinking about the educators you observed; reflect on their leadership qualities as you read Becoming a Reflective Teacher Teaching Young Children.   Sykes (2014) explains a set of eight leadership values of an effective leader.  I agree with Sykes that it is important to value human potential, knowledge, social justice, competence, fun and enjoyment, personal renewal, perseverance, and courage.

On the first page of Becoming a Reflective Teacher Teaching Young Children notice, how the values listed by Sykes are mirrored in the list of characteristics (A reflective teacher . . .).  The authors describe how to use learning stories, an approach used by New Zealand educators, to document and assess learning and to learn alongside the child (Carr, 2001). Think about how your narratives are a form of a learning story.  You assessed a program and hopefully learned in the process of observing carefully and documenting the evidence.

As you read previously the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria & Guidance for Assessment support using feedback and reflection as seen in criteria 6.B.01: 

All teaching staff evaluate and improve their own performance based on ongoing reflection and feedback from supervisors, peers and families. They add to their knowledge and increase their ability to put knowledge into practice. They develop an annual individualized professional development plan with their supervisor and use it to inform their continuous professional development. 

Challenge 2: Reflection

To prepare for discussion answer the questions below in a paragraph format:

  1. Without using names, which program type are you most comfortable and why?
  2. Which NAEYC quality standards are you most comfortable for you and why?
  3. Without using names, which program type made you uncomfortable and why?
  4. What did you learn in ECPK 420, that will be with you in 3 years?
  5. What behavior(s) will you change because of the course?
    1. How might you demonstrate the belief in human potential, knowledge, social justice, competence, fun and enjoyment, personal renewal, perseverance, and courage?
  6. How did the course improve your learning skills, such as writing, reading, and/or researching?
    1. How will you continue to grow and read professional literature to learn more about best practices?

Sykes, M. (2014) Doing the Right Thing for Children: Eight Qualities of Leadership.  St. Paul, MN:  Redleaf Press

 

Challenge 3 : Class Presentation: Compare-and Contrast

Review the 6 observed program types reflecting on similarities and differences in the programs and comparing indicators of quality across programs even with differences in implementation of the standards. Your comparisons should show a deep understanding of the features that reflect standards-based practice.

You will create a power point presentation where you will make a claim or ranking, present evidence, and interpret your findings by comparing “the best” and “the most in need of improvement” program for physical environment, positive relationships, learning environment, and effective teaching.  Effective presentations follow the 10/20/30 rule. Use 10 slides, 15 minutes, and 30 font or larger. Use graphics rather than words to communicate your message. Tell us about the examples that support your thinking.  Focus on content – rather than on being fancy.

Use this checklist to evaluate your presentation.  I used

  • Graphics rather than words to present the message
  • Bullets to separate ideas
  • Clip art which adds to the content (a few excellent graphics work better than a number of mediocre ones and they are optional)
  • A consistent background throughout the presentation
  • Strong contrasting colors are used for easy readability (light colors on dark backgrounds or dark colors on light backgrounds)
  • A plain font consistently from slide to slide
  • A maximum of five to six bullets per slide
  • A maximum of five to six words per line of text
  • A font size is 30 or larger to view from anywhere in a room
  • Only occasionally Italics and bold text, if at all.
  • Ideas communicated clearly and effectively in Standard Edited English with no errors in spelling, mechanics, and sentence structure

Suggested outline for Presentation:

Slide 1: Ranking Chart (Introduction)

You will RANK not rate each program.  Which is the best (#1)?  Which was most in need of improvement (#6).  How do the others place in between?

Compare-and

Contrast

Center based infant toddler classroom Center based preschool classroom Head

Start

Family Childcare Montessori Public School

Kinder-

garten

THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
EFFECTIVE

TEACHING

Note that the ranking you provide is indicative of the specific program you observed and should not be generalized for all programs of that type of child care.

Slide 2:  The Physical Environment

In your discussion make sure to include:

  • Indoor Design.
  • Outdoor Design.
  • Continuous Supervision.
  • Sanitation, Nutrition, and Safety Practices.

Slide 3:  Positive Relationships

In your discussion make sure to include:

  • Teachers Build Positive Relationships with Families
  • Teachers Build Positive Relationships with Children
  • Teachers Build Positive Child-Child Relationships: Scaffolding of Children’s Social
  • Teachers Effectively Manage Challenging Behaviors

Slide 4:  The Learning Environment

In your discussion make sure to include:

  • Individual Needs and Interests (part of overall design of learning environment)
  • Effective Classroom Schedules and Routines
  • Offerings in the Content Domains:
  • Physical
  • Oral Language and Early Literacy
  • Math and Science
  • The Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Health and Safety

Slide 5:  The Learning Environment (continued, if needed)

Slide 6: Effective Teaching

In your discussion make sure to include:

  • Teachers Actively Sustain and Extend Children’s Learning
  • Observation and Assessment Are Used to Design Instruction that is Responsive

Slide 7:  Your decision on what needs more space

Slide 8:  What were your expectations of the program before the site visits?

Slide 9: What are your changes in perspective about program types after observing?

Slide 10: Conclusion

Submit a 1 to 2 page written summary that includes a paragraph(s) explaining the reasons for ranking.

 

Narrative Section NAEYC Standard(s)
Compare and Contrast All standards used in the observations:

1.A., 1.B, 1.C, 1.D, 1.E, 1.F

2.A, 2.B, 2.C., 2.D, 2.E, 2.F, 2. G, 2.J, 2.L, 2.K

3.A, 3.B, 3.C 3. D, 3.E, 3.F, 3.G

4.D

5.A.06–16, 5.B, 5.C

9.A, 9.B, 9.C, 9.D

 

 

Example COMPARE-AND CONTRAST ranking chart

Rankings in all 4 areas across program types

Compare-and

Contrast

Center based infant toddler classroom Center based preschool classroom Head

Start

Family Childcare Montessori Public School

Kinder-

garten

THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 4 3 2 5 1 6
 POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS 2 1 4 3 5 6
THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 5 4 1 4 3 6
EFFECTIVE

TEACHING

3 4 1 3 6 2

 

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