Blog # 4 Negative Expectations

“Certainly, teaching to normative expectations will mean lots of positive feedback for some students (but not necessarily any new learning) and lots of negative feedback for others” (Johnston 13).

It’s so unfortunate that this happens. However, I feel this happens all the time. Students are told what they are doing wrong and not what they are doing right. These are children who are still learning about who they are and what they like. I feel that giving them negative feedback or feedback on just “improving” things isn’t the best way to help teach a child. Johnston talks about how it doesn’t help make the child want to learn learn new things, but it makes them want to just kind of hide in a bubble and not want to try because they fear getting shut down.

“Much more important is noticing-and helping the students notice- what they are doing well, particularly the leading edge of what is going well” (Johnston 13).

I feel like I was really able to relate to this. I took a storytelling class and a part of that class what having to give feedback to the people who were storytelling that day. We used what is called the sandwich technique; you say something positive followed by something that could be improved and then something positive again. It made the class feel more comfortable to speak their mind and it also helped the performer for their next storytelling.


4 thoughts on “Blog # 4 Negative Expectations

  1. Natasha,
    I agree that negative feedback is a trend in many classrooms. The last thing we need is having our children shut down early in their educational career. If we can assist them in their noticing and follow that with positive feedback then they will continue to learn and grow. Finally, I loved your sandwich metaphor for providing feedback. I will remember that! Great graphics too!

  2. I can think of several times in my life when people/teachers have given me negative feedback, it seems like you remember the negative WAY more than the positive. I’m sure those same teachers gave me plenty of positive feedback, but I can’t recall hardly any of it. I wonder if they had used the sandwich technique, would I have been so affected by the negative/room for improvement part of it?
    Simply telling the students they did something wrong does not give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, they should have a chance to work through their mistakes with the teacher and on their own figure out what they did wrong. If they feel good about themselves and what they have accomplished, I think that they will want to learn more in the future.

  3. Wow! The sandwich technique is cool! That is something I think would work really well in a classroom, even telling the students about it. I think if the teacher followed it and asked the students to as well, it would make such a positive and welcoming environment for them to learn in. Such an insightful blog! I’m glad I read this, it really made me excited. I too agree that too much in classes now teachers only focus on what is wrong and what the student needs to fix, and NOT what they have already done right. I think about how if all my teachers shut me down like that growing up, I would never be where I am today. Thank you for sharing the sandwich technique!

  4. Hahahahahaa. Great visual. Thanks for the Friday morning laugh.

    Johnston says, “With our assistance, children are expanding and learning to control their own attention, and the attention system is in many ways a ‘gatekeeper of knowledge acquisition’. For this reason I particularly want them to notice language and its significance” (12).

    How do we teach a widened “attention”?

    I’d like to hear more about your Storytelling class; it sounds wonderful.

    Will you add “Blog #4” to your title? Thanks.

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