Concept Development and Quality of Feedback. These dimensions fall under the Instructional Support domain in the Pre-K CLASS measure. They have some similarities, of course—but they are truly distinctive in the ways they play out in the classroom.
Concept Development is defined by the CLASS Manual as the dimension that "Measures the teachers' use of instructional discussions and activities to promote students' higher-order thinking skills and cognition and the teacher's focus on understanding rather than on rote instruction."
This dimension focuses on building children’s thinking skills. Teachers who demonstrate high levels of CD are not just teaching a “concept” (letters, numbers, seasons), but using specific strategies to encourage children to think more deeply about ideas in the world around them. CD is all about the ways a teacher facilitates learning throughout the day.
Quality of Feedback, on the other hand, "Assesses the degree to which the teacher provides feedback that expands learning and understanding and encourages continued participation."
QF happens when a teacher responds to what a child says or does in a way that pushes the child to keep thinking or trying. Teachers who show high levels of QF are really specific in their feedback, assist children without simply giving away right answers, and expand on children’s words and actions. Was the child able to accomplish something deeper as a result of a teacher’s response? If so, there was probably some QF involved!
So, keeping those definitions in mind, can you sort the following classroom interactions into the correct CLASS dimension?
We all know people are naturally social beings—we need interactions to survive. But just because we’re naturally social doesn’t mean we know how to be social. We have to learn social behaviors—from our families, caregivers, and peers. Teachers play a key role in promoting social development, which includes peer play and friendships.
Across the nation, teachers learning about CLASS are asked to narrate their actions and sportscast their children’s experiences in order to support and encourage healthy language development. Hearing this, many teachers may wonder, “Will people think I’m crazy if I start talking to myself in the classroom?”
The answer is no. Self- and parallel talk are beneficial strategies for teachers to engage in because they strengthen language rich environments and enhance vocabulary development, all while supporting effective relationship building between teachers and children.
As a Certified CLASS Affiliate Trainer, I enjoy reading the discussion posts and responses in the CLASS Learning Community. It gives me further insight into the areas that teachers have questions about, and the responses and techniques that members of the community are sharing with others. Usually I just sit back, read along, and take it all in.
Then recently someone posted, “I'd love some great examples of what Quality of Feedback looks like when you're working with less verbal children. For instance... creating an effective feedback loop off of what a child does more so than what he or she says.”
In construction, a scaffold is a temporary structure used by workers to access heights and areas that are hard to get to. This is exactly what educators are doing when they scaffold for students. A student is having a hard time reaching a new height—understanding a concept, answering a question, or completing an activity—and the teacher provides just enough support to allow the student to succeed.