Bernadette Brown

Primary Teacher

Sacred Heart Primary

  • Growth Mindset

The Use of Verbal Feedback on Pupil Confidence in the Classroom


Students who are praised for their intelligence, learn to value performance while students who are praised for their effort and hard work value opportunities to learn. (Ricci, 2017). Growth mindset is an area that has a significant impact on learners, contributing towards their levels of achievement, effort and overall confidence. (Dweck, 2002). This research study was decided upon by a mixture of primary and secondary school probation teachers whom all have experienced the impact that a child’s mindset can have on their levels of confidence and overall achievement. Children too often lack confidence in asking for help and are fearful of making mistakes. This enquiry will investigate what happens when verbal feedback is provided to pupils and if this has a positive impact on developing a growth mindset and raising pupil’s overall confidence in a selected curricular area. This research will be conducted in one of the twenty-seven ‘Challenging Attainment in North Lanarkshire’ schools which focus on raising attainment in literacy. Therefore, ‘Taught Writing’ would be the selected area of focus for evidence gathering for this enquiry. Watanabe-Crockett (2018) highlights the importance of verbal feedback on pupil confidence by explaining that quality feedback provides learners with an opportunity to learn from mistakes but will also help a learner feel a sense of accomplishment no matter how much they struggle. The purpose of feedback is to make the children feel proud of where they are and look forward to where they are going next in their learning. Verbal feedback is fundamental in developing a growth mindset and in effect raising pupil confidence as it provides a platform for personal reflection and dialogue between the pupil and teacher to locate areas for growth and improvement. The children can use this meaningful feedback to progress. Teachers are encouraged to consider removing visible “grading” from pupils work and replace it with valuable, qualitative feedback. It is suggested that educators should concentrate on providing pupils with meaningful detailed feedback as by doing so can ensure learning growth as pupils are more inclined to act upon their feedback. (Black et al., 2002; Gedye, 2010).

General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Standards for Registration (2012), require registered teachers to ‘engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise’ (Standard 3.4.2). Through engaging in a professional enquiry which investigates the outcome of verbal feedback on pupil confidence, this standard is being adhered to.


The aim of this enquiry was to investigate what happens when teachers give children immediate verbal feedback and what impact this feedback has on pupil confidence.

Download Practitioner Enquiry