Emily Colley

Primary Teacher

Bargeddie Primary

  • Growth Mindset

The Use of Verbal Feedback on Pupil Confidence in the Classroom


The effectiveness of real time feedback has always been championed by educators and academics alike. This enquiry seeks to explore the impact of verbal feedback and looks to find whether there is a link between verbal feedback and pupil confidence.

Psychologist Carol Dweck argued that there are two types of mindset. A growth mindset and a fixed mindset, a fixed mindset as the name suggests assumes that our character, intelligence and creative ability our set. In essence, intelligence fixed and based on a natural ability or lack of ability. Growth mindset on the other hand sees failure as an opportunity for learning. Intelligence and ability are not fixed and can be improved with practise and hard work. It is therefore unsurprising that those with a growth mindset are more adept to cope with challenge in life. Furthermore, having a growth mindset improves confidence and self-efficacy, those with growth mindsets are more likely to feel positively about themselves. In contrast, those with a fixed mindset are more likely to be lacking in confidence, especially in the classroom.

It has been argued that children receive a lot of verbal feedback and that this can be frustrating for a number of reasons. Many students have difficulty understanding the written teacher feedback and can feel frustrated when the teacher feedback is either unclear, too brief, or does not help future learning. It has been said that in order for teacher feedback to be effective the students need to have positive perceptions of receiving feedback. So what constitutes effective feedback? One of the main requirements for effective feedback is that it should be timely, one study found that when feedback is given early it tends to increase performance whereas if the same feedback is given it tends to decrease performance. One of the main benefits of verbal feedback is that is often given either during or following the task, often making it more effective. Another benefit to verbal feedback is the relationship aspect, allowing for the teacher to tailor the feedback to the individuals needs and to ascertain whether or not the pupil has understood the feedback and how they can continue to improve their work.

This enquiry aims to explore what impact, if any, verbal feedback has on pupil’s confidence in the class and understanding of next steps. This enquiry will focus on providing purposeful feedback during literacy lessons in a Primary 7/6 class.


This enquiry will explore the impact that verbal feedback has on pupil confidence in the classroom. It has been argued by the likes of Dylan Williams that meaningful feedback is dependent on the relationship between the pupil and the teacher. This suggests that meaningful feedback which will help a student to grow in both confidence and ability would be better received verbally. This enquiry aims to explore the extent to which verbal feedback increases pupil confidence.

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