The power of feedback
Feedback is an action taken by an external agent to provide information regarding some aspect of one's task performance (including attitude or behaviour where they impinge on performance) (Steve Dinham, 2008, p. 21) with the goal of helping the recipient to improve their performance. In the best-case scenario, specific improvement goals may be discussed and actionable steps for reaching the goals jointly agreed on. To be effective feedback needs to be frequent, constructive and instructive; it needs to be focused and practical, and based on what the recipient can do and is capable of achieving. The criteria used needs to be clear and understood by the recipient, and used to frame the feedback (Steve Dinham, 2008).
This article is part of a three-part series on storytelling.
Augustine argued that human beings are story-shaped people, stretched between what ought to be and what will be. What is it about a story that is so powerful?
The aim of this and the future articles is to draw to attention the current research on moral or character development and to suggest that one powerful tool we can use in our classrooms as we seek to help our students develop a moral character based on Biblical truth is story telling. The first article looks at ‘the why’ of storytelling, the second article discusses the research of the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt who looks at where moral responses in a person come from – the head or the heart – and gives some insights into ‘the how’ of developing moral character. The third article outlines the successful use of story in graduate and post-graduate classes to engage students in ethical debate and decision making but to also challenge and change values.
The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang theory is the cosmological model for the observable universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale evolution. The model describes how the universe expanded from a very high-density and high-temperature state, and offers a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of phenomena. If the observed conditions are extrapolated backwards in time using the known laws of physics, the prediction is that just before a period of very high density there was a singularity which is typically associated with the Big Bang. This theory supports the concept that the universe had a beginning.
‘We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.’ - Martin Luther King (Clarke, Malcolm, Brain & Malcolm, p.183)
Most educators today agree that education involves more than just the transmission of knowledge and skills in relevant subject areas. It is a form of preparation for life and citizenship in a particular society. This was similar in early Greek society. Teaching was much broader than content and subjects. It meant simultaneously providing 'schooling', 'culturing' and 'character formation’. It involved a process of leading a student from boyhood into manhood, and helping him to find his true humanity and become a citizen (Cairney, 2011, p.65).