Hargreaves pupils. The teacher used a range of

Hargreaves (2014) conducted a study observing teachers giving
feedback to promote autonomy in primary school pupils. The teacher used a range
of autonomy promoting feedback which encouraged the pupil to stand out from the
crowd and to become independent, proactive learning and critical inquiry into
rules of life, social relationships and the learning process. The results
illustrated that the teacher facilitated the pupils in managing both immediate
and long term learning, the targets of the classroom learning were met as well
as nurturing the pupils identity (Steinschott and Dobson 2011), the pupils
appeared to take on board  the messages
the teacher was conveying regardless of whether or not the teacher knew if the
pupils understood them (Torrance 2012). Although this study is based in just
one classroom it illustrates the potential that feedback and pupil autonomy can
have, highlighting that more research need to be conducted into verbal feedback
and how pupils perceive and respond to it.

Kuaravadivelu (2003, cited in Kumaravadivelu, 2006, p. 176)
states that there are two types of pupil autonomy one where by the pupil learns
to learn and the other whereby the pupil develops the capacity to develop the
ability to take control of their own learning. This ability according to Holec
(1981, cited in Kumaravadivelu, 2006, p. 176) is the ability to determine
objectives, select methods and techniques, monitor their own progress and
evaluate their own learning. Whilst this definition may then suggest the
teacher becomes redundant Little (1991) clarifies the misconception by
commenting what autonomy is not: autonomy is not self-instruction and learning
without a teacher, autonomy does not abdicate the teacher of responsibility,
autonomy is not a teaching method, autonomy is not a behaviour, autonomy is not
a state to be achieved by pupils.

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To
conclude The Teaching and Learning Toolkit found feedback to be an  essential component in pupil progress,
however little research has been carried out relating to feedback. The majority
of research surrounding feedback given from teachers to pupils relates to
feedback given in the written form, this ay be partly due to that fact that it’s
easily monitored and recorded. Schools are able to process written feedback as
data which can be analysed and used to form a documentary of evidence (Plum,
2012, p 496). In addition, written feedback gives teachers a certain
flexibility, as it can be composed outside of school hours, away from the
classroom and not necessarily immediate. Verbal feedback requires space and
time for creating dialogue, this concept has also been given little status in
the new National Curriculum. In a political speech regarding teaching in 2013
the Education Secretary used the words of Texan President Lyndon B. Johnson,
stating ‘you aren’t learning anything when you’re talking’ (Gove, 2013).

However,
by understanding that feedback is a crucial tool in reducing the Zone of
Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD which is the gap between where the pupil is
and to where they need to be in a developmental 
and educational sense. This gap must be bridged by the guidance of an
appropriate adult or more capable peers through feedback. Therefore the way in
which feedback is provided must be investigated further.

Habermas’ theory of communicative action requires argumentation,
dialogue, language and discourse during feedback, it has to be meaningful,
genuine and link to the curriculum and to what is written. Communicative action
allows ideas to expand and develop and gives the pupil and opportunity to
engage in rational and reasoned conversation which is relatable to his/her own
experiences, thus allows the teacher to expand the pupils knowledge and ideas
giving meaning to action.

Expanding
on verbal feedback further the  Sociocultural
Theory suggests feedback should more than just dialogue and argumentation between the teacher and pupil it should promote a sense of autonomy within pupils, in
doing so pupils will become independent, proactive learners. Autonomy will
enrich the pupils’ allowing them to flourish into critical thinkers not only in
the learning process but also in social relationship and the rules of life.

There
is very little research in the area of feedback both written and verbal. The
theories in this essay offer thoughts and ideas of consideration for research
into feedback and how it is delivered to primary school children and how the
relationship between the pupil and teacher can impact the pupil experience
within the education system. According to Kumaravadivelu’s (2006) facilitating
learning is empowering pupils to learn, but facilitating autonomy is empowering
pupils to becoming critical thinkers.