Jan 08, 2018
Observations and feedback can play a positive role in developing a tutor’s skills—and deliver better results for students, too.
Tutors largely face the world at large themselves: they market themselves (or go through an agency), do their own scheduling, and draw up their own lesson plans. But no one’s a born tutor: how can a tutor improve their skills?
A recent study from the American Institutes of Research points to feedback as one solution.
Researchers worked with 1,000 math and English teachers from 100 elementary and middle schools across five states. Some of those teachers received additional classroom observations instead of undertaking their usual Professional Development courses. The teachers then received feedback in 45-minute sessions on classroom practice, student growth, and principal leadership.
The result? In the first year, state math test scores improved more for students whose teachers received feedback instead of PD training, the equivalent of about four weeks’ learning.
Researchers also found feedback improved trust between teachers and principals. “Feedback is the professional development,” said researcher Michael Garet.
Tutors have the opportunity to incorporate feedback into their own professional development. Buddy up with other tutors and try offering each other constructive feedback as to what did and didn’t work. Students can provide valuable insight through feedback as well.
How Feedback for Teachers and Principals Helped Their Students Do Better in Math http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2018/01/feedback_for_teachers_may_boos.html