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Feedback to Feed Forward

Feedback to Feed Forward
31 Strategies to Lead Learning

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July 2018 | 256 pages | Corwin

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Feedback that works—for leadership that makes a difference.

As a leader, you know that feedback is essential to teachers’ growth and development. But crafting the right feedback can be daunting. How do you conduct comprehensive observations, accurately analyze lessons for effectiveness, and develop high-leverage action steps that bring lasting change to teacher practices and student outcomes? 

This how-to book, designed for leaders in all roles and at all experience levels, provides a dynamic yet practical leadership model focused on precisely those key tasks. Features include

  • Comprehensive explanations of standards and descriptions of discrete core skills
  • Explicit think-alouds, ready-to-use strategies, and field-tested lesson examples
  • Evidence-collection notes—with templates—from live observations
  • Feedback samples across grade levels and content areas
  • Replicable case studies for professional learning 

Simply inspecting teaching practice through observation might be easy; providing feedback that feeds forward and promotes growth is far more challenging. With this comprehensive learning tool, you’ll use feedback to make the most of your role as a leader of learning—for both teachers and students.

Feedback to Feed Forward has been recognized for focusing on practices that have high effect sizes and will help you translate the groundbreaking Visible Learning research into practice. When educators use strategies that have high effects (greater than 0.40), they can accelerate student achievement. The power of the Visible Learning research lies in helping educators understand which factors have the highest impact on student achievement so that educators can begin making strategic decisions based on evidence that will utilize their time, energy, and resources to the best extent possible. The Visible Learning research is based on Professor John Hattie’s unmatched meta-analysis of more than 1,600 research reviews comprising 95,000 studies, involving more than 300 million students—the world’s largest evidence base on what works best in schools to improve student learning. From that research, Dr. Hattie identified more than 250 factors that have an impact on student achievement.  
View a full list of Visible Learning® Supporting Resources

About the Authors
Chapter 1: What does it mean to lead learning?
Finding Time to Lead Learning

Rethinking Evaluation

Leading Change Through Educator Evaluation

Core Assumptions About Current Practice

Feedback as the Common Thread

A Shift From Summary to Analysis

Core Skills for Observation and Feedback

What’s Ahead?

Chapter 2: How can you use an instructional framework to improve observation and feedback practices?
Skill Set for Building Understanding of a Framework

Deconstructing Your Framework

Unpacking Expectations

Using a Feedback Frame

Final Thoughts

Chapter 3: How can you collect evidence in the classroom to improve feedback?
Skill Set for Collecting Evidence

Bias in Observation

Identifying Types of Data

Evidence Collection: The Basics

Evidence Collection: Student Engagement and Learning

Using a Balance of Evidence to Feed Forward

Final Thoughts

Chapter 4: How can you determine effectiveness of instruction and a teacher’s impact on learners?
Skill Set for Determining Effectiveness

Using Your Evidence to Analyze Effectiveness

Understanding What We Are Analyzing

Analyzing Engagement

Influences on Engagement and Learning

Final Thoughts

Chapter 5: How can you determine a teacher’s areas of instructional strength and growth?
Skill Set for Determining Areas of Strength and Growth

What Teachers Need to Know

Using Analysis

Determining Areas of Strength and Growth

Citing Areas of Strength and Growth

Understanding Research-Based Strategies

Using Research-Based Strategies in Feedback

Pulling It All Together

Final Thoughts

Chapter 6: How can your feedback feed forward?
Skill Set for Developing Objective Feedback

Bias in Feedback

Increasing Objectivity

Feedback to Feed Forward

Skill Set for Developing Feedback as a Learning Tool

Defining “Actionable” Next Steps

Developing Action Steps

Prioritizing Next Steps

Developing Reflective Practices

Pulling It All Together

Final Thoughts

Chapter 7: What professional learning builds your capacity to lead learning?
What’s Next?

The Current Approach

Essentials of Effective Professional Learning Design

Building a New Approach

Professional Learning Designs in Action

Final Thoughts and Beyond

Strategies List
Tables and Figures List


Leading learning meets specificity! Tepper and Flynn take the most powerful strategy for change we know—feedback— and comprehensively break it down into themes that are well-grounded in theory and practice. Treat Feedback to Feed Forward as a master cookbook. Look for what you need and delve into it with a connoisseur’s appetite.

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto
University of Toronto

Teachers are starving for effective feedback – feedback they can actually use to take next steps in their teaching and their students’ learning.  Grounded in research and the authors’ years of experience, Feedback to Feed Forward provides an indispensable guide for instructional leaders in how to use an instructional framework, collect a variety of evidence, and analyze impact on student learning — all in the service of providing teachers with objective, growth-oriented, and actionable feedback.  Practical and accessible, the book combines a compelling vision for instructional leadership focused on student learning with authentic examples, data collection tools, and concrete strategies that anyone who supports teachers, regardless of the level expertise, can apply immediately to their own practice.

Nancy Love, author of The Data Coach's Guide for Improving Learning for All Students
Corwin author

Feedback to Feed Forward: 31 Strategies to Lead Learning is a must-read for practicing school leaders whose roles have rapidly evolved over the past several years.  Tepper and Flynn have masterfully unpacked the essential elements of effective supervision and evaluation that supports teachers in improving their practice. In this practical guidebook, the authors focus on the practices of instructional leaders who have become leaders of learning in their schools. As the result of years of work supporting schools and districts who have struggled to implement new systems of educator evaluation, they have seen firsthand the need to support school leaders in developing a new set of core skills and strategies to confidently and effectively lead learning in their schools. In order for school leaders to feel comfortable immersing themselves in teaching and learning every day, they need on-going professional learning and support to develop the skills for effective observation and direct feedback that promotes growth, improves teacher practice, and results in student learning.

Sara J. Barzee, Chief Talent Officer, CT State Department of Education
CT State Department of Education

I love how versatile and practical the content of this book is! No matter what evaluation rubric or method you use – this process of data collection, connecting the data to the rubric, and setting a course of action leads to meaningful feedback that teachers can immediately implement in their classroom practice. Tepper and Flynn create a system of support to help administrators through every stage of the evaluation process. Whether you’re new to the process, or have been conducting evaluations for years, the reader connects to where they are and can easily determine next steps for themselves throughout every chapter. The authors provide guidance that supports leaders in fostering a climate that cultivates a collaborative and reflective approach to growth and development through the evaluation process.

Alisha L. DiCorpo, Assistant Superintendent, New Milford, CT
New Milford, CT

Feedback to Feed Forward: 31 Strategies to Lead Learning gives me a whole new way to think about classroom observation by elevating this very common practice to a strategic, purposeful, and scientific professional development tool!  It is a book so full of strategies, information, guidance, and tips to improve my work that I will read, re-read, and study it continually as I hone my skills of observation and feedback to promote teacher growth. With regard to my work as an observer of classroom instruction, this book enabled me to answer the three highlighted questions, "Where am I going? How am I going?  Where to next?" Tepper and Flynn provide a clear, step-by-step way to think about and perform observations for the purpose of defining what I am actually looking for, seeking evidence of it while in the room and using that evidence to craft actionable feedback for a teacher.

Amy Bruce, Principal, West Ridge Elementary, Thornton, CO
Thornton, CO

One of the best books I have read regarding evaluation practices. In my almost 13 years as an administrator I have always known that feedback and discussion after the evaluation was important but now I have a better understanding of how to address very specific aspects. Looking at the big picture in a way that breaks it down into four categories was incredibly helpful. While it feels overwhelming to think about doing all of these things in one evaluation since it is a new approach for me, now that I know better, I must do better. I have been practicing some of my learning while reading the book with one of my teachers and the first time I went in, I didn't know who was more nervous, her or me! However, there was a sense of excitement knowing that I was gaining skills to be a better evaluator which in turn will produce better teachers and more engaged learners! This is a process that will take time but taking the first step has opened a whole new door for me in improving my evaluation process!

Chris deNeui, Principal, Central Elementary School; Nevada, IA
Central Elementary School; Nevada, IA

Tepper and Flynn, and the principles that they so comprehensively elaborate upon in this book, are most responsible for my professional growth as a teacher and leader. These tenets have built my leadership capacity on a myriad of levels: from effectively collecting evidence during a classroom observation to giving effective and actionable feedback to teachers. This text will quickly rise to the top and become a tour de force in the world of educational leadership.

John Mastroianni, K-12 Music Department Chair, Director of Bands; Canton, CT
Canton Public Schools; Canton, CT

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