Powerful Learning Conversations

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Summary & aims

This project is based on the idea that the feedback techniques used in sport are rapid and immediate and that children are less likely to respond negatively to criticism due to the way the feedback is delivered. The importance of effective feedback is clear from the Teaching and Learning Toolkit, with it being assessed as having a very high impact for a low cost. The challenge is in supporting teachers to adopt good feedback practices in their classroom. The idea, or indeed feasibility, of applying feedback techniques used in sport has however never been tested. The project, which is being delivered by Youth Sport Trust, aims to develop and trial a training programme for Year 9 English and Maths teachers, with the aim of improving feedback practices by applying feedback techniques used in sport. It is one of a large number of projects funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to address educational disadvantage. NIESR is evaluating this pilot intervention on behalf of the EEF through a randomised control trial and a process evaluation.



23 schools are involved in the project. The primary outcome is the Progress in English (GL assessment) Writing test, while the secondary outcome is the Access Maths Test (Hodder), Math test.

NIESR is evaluating the impact of the interventions, using these test scores. We are also conducting a process evaluation which is establishing fidelity of the delivery, exploring teachers' experiences of the programme and assessing potential for wider roll-out.

Timescale and funder

The evaluation was funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. It began in 2014 and completed in Autumn 2015.

More information and outputs from this project is available on the EEF website project page