Is it not strange ?: learners seem to benefit when acting as a teacher and seem to gain quite a lot in doing so. Why is that?
Of course, giving feedback lies at the heart of teaching. In fact, It is a highly influential way of maintaining conversation with students. The study’s outcome has been found repeatedly in the many studies on feedback (1). Students like feedback; lots of it when it comes to that. Not that they learn a lot from it all the time (2); which is also found. But why then is giving feedback such a gainful strategy, when pupils’ learning is concerned? We do not know for sure. Some tentative suggestions are given in the study under hand: May be it has to do with “raising awareness” on part of the peer reviewers, the author says. That is a plausible contention, but also a bit implied by the fact that the peer reviewer is giving feedback. Because: how can you in giving feedback not be aware of what you are saying to your peer. You need to be knowledgeable on what to comment; otherwise your peer will criticize you severely. We know that from peer assessment studies (3). So the ‘explanation’ is a bit self-referent, and not really satisfying. Nevertheless, the study triggers a deep ‘searching‘ for explanations, since feedback giving is such a central and profitable strategy in learning. As I see it the peer reviewers in the study under hand were very advantageous because they ‘possessed’ the appropriate teacher knowledge about the learning task. They were (partly, gradually, stepwise, or in other staged manners) attuned to teaching the stuff. And that helps. Giving feedback is much like gradually learning how to whistle the tune. The peer reviewers were, in fact, apprentices of teaching and that gives them momentum and focus on the content to be learned.
Learning from giving feedback: a study of secondary-level students by Jessica Berggren
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