The Role of Written Feedback in Numeracy in the Primary School Classroom

Miedzo Mutendi, Chipo Makamure


This study seeks to establish the quality and type of feedback necessary and suitable for learners, understandable by learners and implementable in the learning process by the learners to improve progress in learning numeracy. However, although written feedback is believed to be instrumental in shaping the pupils’ classroom performance, there is less agreement on whether this is workable in the real world of the classroom or has remained an intended goal of feedback. There is limited work in literature on how pupils respond or use written feedback to improve their performance. A questionnaire was administered to a group of Year 5 students at a school in England to solicit the pupils’ perceptions of the usefulness of written feedback and the challenges that were likely to be faced in interpreting and implementing the feedback. In order to measure the impact of feedback on students’ performance, a pre-test was given, pupils’ recommendations from the questionnaire were incorporated, and a second test was given two days later. The two sets of marks were then compared. It was found that pupils find it difficult to understand written feedback at times, mainly because of unfamiliar vocabulary used in the feedback and when they do understand the language, they often find it unhelpful in achieving their learning goals. Teachers are recommended to simplify and add more detail to feedback, making it as informative as possible about what was done well and suggest improvements that could be made.

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