I am sure that if you are reading this blog, you are already aware of the philosophy of Konshius, and the importance we give to the critical and creative thinking skills development of children. We firmly believe that learning has to be full of fun, for everyone involved in the process.
The Konshius games, along with being fun, focus highly on the ‘how to learn’ aspect, for building a better foundation for ‘application of learning’. I highly recommend you try playing these games. It would be a fun and mentally charging experience. As a Konshius friend of children around you, your role in this journey is to make the game-playing experience engaging, exciting, and fun-filled.
When you will play these games yourself, you will realize that these games have been designed to develop critical and creative thinking which our formal education system does not do explicitly. Every activity in these games will train your children on ‘how to think.’ So, your children will be involved in a lot of serious mental actions, while playing these games with you as their Konshius friend. Due to these deeper level of mental engagement and actions, they produce a long-lasting impact and uncover higher-order thinking skills. Thus it becomes extremely important how you are sharing your inputs or feedback during this fun-learning process. Which is also one of the core elements of our ideology and delivery process to be trained on. The objective of this blog is to share with you ‘how this feedback’ should be structured and the reasons behind doing so.
Giving feedback is commonly assumed to be telling what someone did wrong, and emphasizing this wrong as a reason for results being undesired or poor. This is an age-old way of giving feedback that somehow most of us have ended up picking up unconsciously. But is it enough, or is it the right way to give feedback? Is there a better way to give feedback?
Be prepared to give feedback!
Before sharing about the feedback structure we follow at Konshius, I would like to clear a myth about learning and the process of feedback. It is believed that feedback is just a one-step process, and it is the responsibility of the learner to incorporate the feedback and make necessary corrections or changes. Now, what if I told you the process of feedback is a 4-step process, and we as parents (or as teachers) are equally responsible for the implementation aspect of the feedback? Let us now see these steps.
- Being appreciative of what was done right – Somehow we all get trained to look at what was done wrong and ignore what was done right. But, at Konshius, we always tell first what was done right, even if it was the most minor step. The first step of the feedback is to pay close attention to what was done right, and share it concretely and explicitly, by quoting specific observations. This motivates and encourages children, helps them realise and accept their self-capabilities gracefully. Please be mindful of not saying ‘right’ things for the sake of it, and it will help in winning long-lasting trust.
- Identifying what could have been done better – Once you have completed the 1st step, now is the time to share with the child about the gaps you would have identified. However, they have to be shared in a way that can create a state in the child’s mind which is most conducive to reflect on self. So, the method we follow at Konshius is that we talk about the gaps in the context of action taken by the child. We never tell the child that ‘you’ did this wrong, but we tell the child that this ‘action’ could have been done better. So, we construct our statements not being child-centric but being centric to the action taken by the child. For example, instead of saying “You are doing it all wrong,” we share it around the action “I think this action could have been done better.” This way, we are correcting the incorrect actions and not saying that the child is incorrect.
- Constructing an action process for how to do it better – Now comes the real part where we have to share with the child ‘how that action can be done better.’ Here, we as Konshius Friend watch our words carefully and share our inputs as ‘actions’ and in as concrete language as possible. This is the stage to make the child learn from our experience – How could it have been done better? So, our feedback is not just limited to telling the child about what could have been done better in the identified gap areas, we are now actually sharing with the child ‘how to think’ to make the action better.
- Justifying by sharing the benefits – What better results will come from the ‘how’ part of what you proposed in the last step i.e. how to do it better? Here we are providing the child with a window of positive outcomes which would happen by following the new process of action or thinking. And, we share these benefits because we have experienced them. We do not say them just to preach or give ‘gyan’ to the child but as confirmation of first-hand testimony of these positive results.
The development of critical and creative thinking is not a one-day task. It takes time, and in this journey, we have to be patient while constructing and giving feedback. When we follow this feedback process, we are not only telling our children how something could have been done in a better way but are also enabling them to think ‘how to think in different situations.
Let me explain the above 4 steps by taking an example. Let us say that a child in an overreaction threw something. Now in this situation –
- What was done right? – The child expressed the pent-up emotions and gave the emotions an expression. Acknowledge it gracefully that ‘Hey, you did right by expressing the emotion’.
- What could have been done better? – You can probably say – ‘Hey, the action of throwing could have been done better by verbally communicating about your emotions.’
- How it could have been done better? – By sharing what was troubling and why it was troubling. By verbally expressing what was causing the anger, or whatever emotion was troubling. by speaking about it.
- What benefits or positive outcome will come from it? – By doing this, you would have made me understand what was troubling you. When you would have spoken about your discomfort, we both would have understood something better about each other for the next time. And, the thing you threw, would not have been required to be thrown.
Why is feedback so important?
If you are thinking about how this feedback approach and process would be beneficial, then I must say that it will produce not just one but will open a window of many positive results that will happen over time. While giving feedback, you are sharing your experiences, unlike just stating facts from a textbook. You are becoming the first-hand testimony that something can be done differently. You are planting the seed inside your child that anything can be done differently and better.
I have discussed a very logical, step-by-step approach here with you. While playing Konshius games will naturally help your child develop higher-order thinking skills because of its pedagogy, practising the proper feedback process will give your child a better way of applying thinking. This approach requires some practice and work, but it is essential for your child’s overall development. A word of suggestion, please keep the feedback based on your experiences and do not let emotional triggers extrapolate, hypothesize, exaggerate or philosophize the specifics.
This blog mainly focused on the joy of learning and how the feedback model can add to that joy by building profound communication and trust with your child. In my other blog, I have also spoken about why a parent is always the first facilitator for a child. As a parent, you are the best guide to strengthen your child’s thinking skills and learning potential.
I will keep sharing more insights through blogs on this page. Till then, have fun playing all the Konshius games, and remember to follow the feedback process!