Designing Emergent Feedback Systems: Lessons Learned from a 10-Year School Reform Initiative

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2 Citations (Scopus)


A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. Strengthening the connection between teaching and learning with high-quality feedback is critical to the success of every school (Fullan, 2001). Yet creating feedback systems that are contextually sensitive; accessible to students, faculty, and administration; and also practical to implement represents an immense challenge. Despite considerable effort to address the problem, teacher feedback remains largely summative in its focus, methodologically problematic, and, all too often, blunt regarding its capacity to differentially recognize quality professional practice. Given the challenges associated with providing feedback in school reforms, a need exists to look more closely at the ways in which school reform designs can improve feedback in schools. Further, the difficulties experienced in sustaining and scaling comprehensive school reforms (CSRs) to numbers of schools suggest that it may be necessary to look more closely at the specifics of feedback processes and the way in which they operate within individual schools in order to build more complete, contextually sensitive approaches that have scalable potential. This article presents a perspective on using a comprehensive school reform approach to develop an emergent feedback system. A decade-long, site-developed CSR is employed to examine the relationship between a reform model or design, and the role and structure of feedback. The nature of the reforms is described, along with their theoretical underpinnings, the lessons learned, and implications and conclusions regarding the development of an emergent feedback system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-111
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Reform
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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