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Learner-Focused Feedback

Learner-Focused Feedback
19 Strategies to Observe for Impact

First Edition
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May 2020 | 256 pages | Corwin

New strategies for feedback that supports a culture of learning

The skill set required for observing why students are learning and how teachers influence that is a difficult one to master—yet it’s essential when it comes to driving change and growth in your school. This companion to Feedback to Feed Forward provides a curated collection of strategies to improve your ability to identify desired outcomes, recognize learning in action, collect relevant and accurate evidence, and develop smart, supportive, and effective feedback about a teacher’s impact on learners.

And it’s not just leaders, coaches, and administrators who can use this highly accessible how-to. This time around, Tepper and Flynn also address the needs of teachers who double as observers, whether they’re mentoring new teachers, supporting each other or analyzing the effectiveness of their own teaching. No matter your role, you’ll benefit from their expert guidance, as well as:

·         Authentic classroom examples
·         Observer think-alouds
·         Stories from the field with “Give-It-a-Try” tools and “Stop and Think” questions
·         Follow-up steps specific to your role 

When classroom observation and feedback are both learner-centered (focused on students) and learning-focused (focused on teachers as learners), they lead to a culture of learning throughout the school. Take this book as your guide, and explore just how effective your feedback can be.

Learner-Focused Feedback has been recognized for focusing on practices that have high effect sizes and will help you translate the groundbreaking Visible Learning research into practice. When educators use strategies that have high effects (greater than 0.40), they can accelerate student achievement. The power of the Visible Learning research lies in helping educators understand which factors have the highest impact on student achievement so that educators can begin making strategic decisions based on evidence that will utilize their time, energy, and resources to the best extent possible. The Visible Learning research is based on Professor John Hattie’s unmatched meta-analysis of more than 1,600 research reviews comprising 95,000 studies, involving more than 300 million students—the world’s largest evidence base on what works best in schools to improve student learning. From that research, Dr. Hattie identified more than 250 factors that have an impact on student achievement.  
View a full list of Visible Learning® Supporting Resources

List of Online Resources
Feedback to Feed Forward Strategies
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Why Observe for Impact?
Building a Culture of Learning

Building a Culture of Observation and Feedback

The Skills of Observation

Teachers as Learners

Leaders Leading Learning

What’s Ahead

Chapter 2: What Do You Need to Understand About Learning?
Understanding the Concept of Learning

Overarching Goals for All Learners

Our Three Goals

Cautions for Observers

How the Brain Works

Identifying Learning in Action

Recognizing Impact on Learning

Determining Causal Attribution

Give It a Try

What’s Ahead

Chapter 3: How Can You Prepare for Evidence Collection?
Preobservation Planning

Planning Your Tools

Planning by Using Expectations

Planning to Interact With Learners

Planning Using Learning Goals

Planning Based on Disciplines

Planning Based on Standards

Give It a Try

What’s Ahead

Chapter 4: How Can You Adapt Evidence Collection Upon Arrival?
Your Goals as an Observer

Adapting 101: The Basics

Metacognition in Motion

Making It Count

Timing Is Everything

Using the Learning Goals

Foundational Understandings

Student Ability to Meet Expectations

Give It a Try

What’s Ahead

Chapter 5: How Can You Adapt Evidence Collection as a Lesson Unfolds?
Observing for Learning

Observing for Causal Attribution and Impact

Observing for Good Struggle

Adapting During an Observation

Adapting Based on Active Engagement

Student Notes

Mid-Lesson or End-of-Task/End-of-Lesson Reflections

Adapting Based on Tools and Resources

Adapting Based on Discourse

Give It a Try

What’s Ahead

Chapter 6: How Do You Cultivate a Culture of Learning?
Building a Culture of Learning

Developing Feedback About Impact

Building Trust

Making a Culture Shift

The Six Steps

Final Thoughts

Strategies List
List of Figures


A leader’s most important job is to help teachers understand their impact on student learning. Collecting evidence of learning through observation is a difficult skill to master, but Tepper and Flynn have given us the tools we need in this essential new resource.

John Hattie
Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia

"Learning is incredibly complex. Observing classrooms in order to help teachers grow deserves careful and informed consideration of many integrated parts. I’m grateful to have this excellent book as a cornerstone resource in my work to support teachers."

Julie Stern, Author, Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding

"Learner-Focused Feedback, Tepper and Flynn’s companion book to Feedback to Feed Forward, delves deeply into student learning, how to observe, which questions to ask, and strategies that lead to next steps. The book is a treasure of resources. Children, teachers, and coaches are the winners here. I have never read such a thorough discourse on learning. After 26 years outside of the classroom, it makes me want to go back."

Claudia Frandsen
Ventura County Office of Education

"Tepper and Flynn’s Learner-Focused Feedback delivers the educational framework necessary to develop a school culture that fosters and embraces teaching and learning for impact. Evidence-based feedback that focuses on the learner is the ultimate approach to not only empower educators to be intentional with every detail of their instruction. It also guides the observer to provide feedback from a growth mindset perspective. I believe Learner-Focused Feedback will create the structures to build a school culture based on trust to allow room for promoting educational equity and student achievement."

Miladys Cepero-Perez
Florida Atlantic University

"Learner-Focused Feedback: 19 Strategies to Observe for Impact is a must-read for all administrators and instructional leaders. What a gem! I have quoted, cited, and used this book for my own growth as a school leader observing teachers. The knowledge, experience, and research contained in the pages guides my walk-throughs, from the foundational understanding that “a culture of observation and feedback drives a culture of learning” to the essential second strategy, to define “learning,” and beyond to the strategies on how to adapt evidence collection during an observation. There are not many books that are as practical as Learner-Focused Feedback. It is an indispensable book if you want to observe for impact."

Kjell Fenn, Headmaster,
New Covenant Academy and Author of Engage: Motivational Strategies for a Dynamic Classroom

"Learner-Focused Feedback: 19 Strategies to Observe for Impact is an essential how-to guide for educators seeking professional growth in the area of observation and feedback. Amy Tepper and Patrick Flynn flawlessly weave classroom examples with strategies for evidence collection that serves as a learning tool and sets the tone for an effective, meaningful conversation. They remind us that observation is not always about evaluation. Using observation and evidence-based feedback for professional growth builds a culture of learning. This book will show you how!

Whether you’re a teacher, instructional coach, or administrator, Tepper and Flynn guide you through strategies to plan for and adapt to student interactions during an observation in order to improve the quality of feedback for the teacher. Simply put, this book is delicious. Try it in digestible bites through the chapters or all at once for the big picture."

April Strong
Martin County School District, Stuart, FL

"Every school and district have processes in place for classroom observations that can range from peer coaching, informal observations, learning walks, and formal evaluations. These processes are most meaningful when the observer(s) can truly gather information on how instruction, strategies, practices, environment, curricula, and goals impact student learning. In Learner-Focused Feedback, Tepper and Flynn mix the right balance of research, practice, and experience in thousands of classrooms to help observers focus and adapt to what is happening in the classroom to truly understand what students are actually learning. The feedback that can emerge from these adaptive and effective observation practices can most certainly help teachers move their practice forward and in turn improve student learning!"

Kevin J. Hanlon
Cheshire Public School

"Learner-Focused Feedback: 19 Strategies to Observe for Impact serves as an essential field guide for supporting teaching and learning in all classrooms. This book highlights why observation and feedback of classroom practice serves as a key lever for improving student outcomes and cultivating a culture of learning. This is the first book that provides the context of adapting evidence collection strategies during a classroom visit making it a must read for anyone supporting teachers through observation and feedback. Tepper and Flynn make their own learning (metacognitive processing) visible and show readers how to advance evidence-collection practices. The inclusion of examples of collected evidence followed by stop and think provides opportunities for reflection and development of observation practices for administrators, coaches and classroom teachers alike."

Robert Testa
Vernon Public Schools

"Every leader knows that educators need high quality feedback. Learner-Focused Feedback: 19 Strategies to Observe for Impact is the practical guide that gives exemplary examples and tools to actually give feedback to move teachers to better instruction."

Mollie Sullivan Raab
Independent School District 622

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents


Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781544368269

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