What We Do: Research Products

Lessons from Bronx Haven: How can feedback strategies support student learning?

August 2016

“Bronx Haven Teacher Nayiri Panossian explains that taking students through feedback discussions using the form started to ‘change the way we talked in classrooms—to growth-mindset discussion. It changed the conversation to become about improving. It’s not about being “smart” but about working hard or not.’”

–Placing Student Feedback at the Center of Teaching and Learning

When teachers provide formative, skill-aligned feedback to students, learning accelerates. Indeed, education research on academic achievement points to feedback as one of the most influential factors for improving student performance. In this monograph—part of a series that captures practices and tools that support deeper learning for overage and under-credited adolescents at transfer schools across New York City—we share how Bronx Haven High School teachers developed their feedback practices.

From 2012 to 2015, Bronx Haven was a member of the Transfer School Common Core Institute (TSCCI), an innovative professional development institute led by the NYCDOE’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness. Through coaching provided by TSCCI partners Eskolta and reDesign, Bronx Haven’s principal at the time, Lucinda Mendez, and a team of teachers launched a multiyear effort to shift the school’s focus from traditional outcome measures—like standardized test scores—toward the learning process itself. Teachers began integrating more time for feedback and revisions into their classes. Initially, there was concern that the time taken away from covering content could lead scores on the statewide Regents exams to drop. Instead, Regents scores improved in every content area for three years in a row.

This report shares the strategies and tools that Bronx Haven teachers designed and tested to support student learning. These include the “Standards-to-Skills Loop,” which was developed to help teachers establish clear objectives and provide support for students’ skill growth; a student feedback form and conferencing protocol to guide students and plan revisions; and a student engagement and academic skills charts to allow students to track progress in key areas.

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