Ron Berger’s Powerful Example of Student Critique and Feedback

As a full-time education consultant, Allison Zmuda works with educators to grow ideas on how to make learning for students challenging, possible and worthy of the attempt. Over the past 19 years, Zmuda has shared curricular, assessment, and instructional ideas, shown illustrative examples, and offered practical strategies of how to get started.

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Ron Berger has been an inspiration to show what students can do if we expect excellence, surround them with quality examples, create regular critiques where students and outside experts play a significant role, and provide the opportunity to make the work better. This is one of the new classics — a video that models what quality critique and feedback looks like.

Berger described the power of a culture that supports learners in the production of quality work.

Work of excellence is transformational. Once a student sees that he or she is capable of quality, of excellence, that student is never quite the same. There is a new self-image, a new notion of possibility. There is an appetite for excellence. After students have had a taste of excellence, they’re never quite satisfied with less.”

Ron Berger
The example in the video shows one student’s progress from first draft to sixth.

Reflect …

  • What does excellence look, sound, and feel like in your classroom?
  • How have you created these opportunities for revision in your classroom?
  • What is a primary barriers to achieving this?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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