Austin’s Butterfly

In this video Ron Berger from EL Education tells the story of Austin, a First Grade student who was asked to do a scientific drawing of a butterfly based on a photo. His initial drawing was very simple and he was encouraged to look at the photo again  'like a scientistic’. As well as being encouraged to have an increased focus on the detail he could see Austin was also given feedback from his peers to help him recognise how he might reflect this detail in his drawing.  Over several drafts, and with continued critique from his peers, Austin was able to draw a realistic drawing of the butterfly that is almost unrecognisable compared to the first draft. 

The children in the video are learning about how feedback is a positive thing which can help us progress. They are also learning about how it’s important that feedback is honest, whilst being delivered in a kind and supportive way. In addition they are seeing that specific and focused feedback can help improve performance, along with understanding the importance of perseverance and working on a number of drafts to get something right. Ron Berger suggests that we often settle for lower quality work from students because we underestimate the capacity of students to respond to feedback and support. 

Although targeted at very young children this message is just as relevant to adults, whether it be from the perspective of someone wanting to improve their performance, or from the perspective of someone wanting to support a colleague to improve and develop their practice. 

How might the story of Austin’s Butterfly influence you in your own role and the support and feedback you give to others?

This month's free download to prompt reflection

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What do you see?

How can the clip be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? 

What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered?

Let me know how you used the image

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