ERIC Number: ED217493
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Teacher Response to Student Effort: The Frequently-Overlooked Key to Success in Teaching.
The single most important thing that a teacher can do for a student is to identify and label specifically what the child does right rather than what he or she does wrong. In an elementary school where students wrote every day and teachers marked every error, students began to write less, using simpler words and eliminating all meaningful writing. A new approach was tried in which the teachers remarked on at least one good aspect of every paper. Gradually, those qualities regarded as desirable appeared more frequently. When the teachers came across something they did not understand, they talked it over with the student. From this positive approach three rules for teacher response were devised: (1) respond to what is right or correct; (2) identify and label specific, desirable qualities; and (3) when helping a student, use specific and positive phrasing that focuses the writer on a problem he or she can solve. These three rules also proved effective in reading instruction. When a teacher began using positive specific responses to first and second grade students' oral reading, student performance improved rapidly. When children completed workbook drills, it appeared more effective to repeat the directions by spotting children who were following the directions and describing what they were doing correctly, than to repeat the directions in disgust to a child who did not listen or who forgot. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English Spring Conference (1st, Minneapolis, MN, April 15-17, 1982).