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The role of mentoring in translating research into classroom practice

10 min read
Douglas Fairfield, Education Advisor, Education Development Trust, UK Gillian Acott, Curriculum Design Manager, Teach First, UK 'I understand that you learned to do this during your training and it’s probably more up to date with the latest pedagogy, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that pupils find grades motivating.' This is real feedback that a trainee received during their training year. The issue was that there were no grades or scores next to the students’ work. The trainee had recently read Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment (2011), introducing them to research on the impacts of written feedback and grades on student outcomes. It showed that when students received developmental comments, their subsequent work improved, but when these were combined with grades, they made no more progress than if they had been given no comments at all (Butler, 1987). Ultimately, the trainee was being instructed by their mentor’s subjective opinion of what constituted go

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