Week 24 in Review: Who Gives The Best Feedback?


We’ve had a week full of Accountability and Feedback!

Elementary Update

In every civil community there are elements of accountability. However, what begins as hard and fast lines becomes less clear as relationships and friendships grow.

This week, heroes wrestled with relationships and expectations. Which is most important: using your voice to hold others accountable or asking for help from a fellow traveler when you’re the one who is breaking the contract? Or perhaps the question should be, which is more challenging?

Heroes are honest on this topic: it’s tough to call out a friend for breaking the contract, especially when what they’re doing looks like fun. Most heroes rated themselves a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-5. A few brave and vulnerable heroes admitted to needing help and recognized their dependence on heroes who will hold them accountable. The question ultimately became: “Do we raise our expectations to match the standard of excellence in our contract or lower the bar in order to preserve friendships?”

The decision the heroes made this week about upholding their contract no matter what can be summed up by author James E. Faust: “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living and truth loving.” This is how the Elementary heroes at The Forest School have vowed to continue learning to live together.


Middle School Update

Who gives the best feedback?

In most traditional schools, the teacher is the primary (if not only) provider of feedback to learners. Did your project meet the requirements of the assignment? How did your essay compare to the rubric? Did you follow the correct process in finding the value of x?

The Forest School is different in many ways. First, we don't have teachers, we have Guides. Second, feedback is given constantly from a variety of sources. Just this week, learners received feedback from:
- themselves, as they reflected on their own well-being by completing a "flourishing self-assessment."
- each other, as they went back and forth on final badge approvals for last session.
- their Guide, through Socratic launches on how to keep our standards high.
- middle school learners from NOLA Microschools in New Orleans who had already completed apprenticeships critiqued our Heroes on the first draft of their email pitches to local employers.
- prominent local business owners gathered round the table with our learners to give insight and perspective into how they view apprenticeship programs and what sort of data they would need to see in order to be convinced of their value.

This sort of feedback is less "school talk," and more reflective of the kinds of processes we go through in the real world. We're thankful our learners get so many opportunities to give, receive, and reflect on this type of feedback so early in their Hero's Journey.

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Tyler Thigpen