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Effective and Ineffective Praise

Hello colleagues, I recall reading about how praise can sometimes actually be harmful. In our role as teacher's, our words really do matter. As Dr. Debbie Silver writes, "Effective feedback starts with carefully selecting words that are honest, specific, nonjudgmental, and specifically chosen to help the student figure out how to get better. It should inform them about their progress. It should not judge, label, accuse, excuse, or even praise [emphasis added]. It provides instructive knowledge that will enhance the student’s performance."

Check out Dr. Silver's blog post, "The Power of Teachers' Words," where she illustrates both effective and ineffective feedback to learners. Rather than just saying "good job," it requires some effort on the part of teachers to provide feedback to students that is more than simple praise.

Let us know your thoughts!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP