Drafts and the power of descriptive feedback

Math, writing, art, language, life… How might we grow and learn through descriptive feedback?

How many rough drafts to we expect from and offer to our learners?

Austin’s Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work – Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback

What if we allow, nay, insist on drafts and mulligans? Can we unlearn the “one-and-done” assessment mentality?

“Unlearning is required when the world or your circumstances in that world have changed so completely that your old habits now hold you back.”  (Davidson, 19 pag.)

Have our circumstances at school changed so completely that old habits are holding back progress?  Am I holding on to my old habits so hard that I am holding back my learners? Every learner has access to amazing amounts of information at their fingertips via their smart phone, iPad, and computer. YIKES!  Circumstances have changed.

“It means becoming a student again because your training doesn’t comprehend the task before you.  You have to, first, see your present patterns, then, second, you have to learn how to break them.  Only then do you have a chance of seeing what you are missing? (Davidson, 19 pag.)

What habits have I tried to break or change to see what I’m missing?  What have I been willing unlearn and relearn?

How are we making learning pathways more visible to learners so that they are empowered to help monitor learning and offer descriptive feedback?

By learning to insert feedback loops into our thought, questioning, and decision-making process, we increase the chance of staying on our desired path. Or, if the path needs to be modified, our midcourse corrections become less dramatic and disruptive. (Lichtman, 49 pag.)


Davidson, Cathy N.  Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Viking, 2011. Print.

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

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