Is Public Constructive Criticism Really Helpful For Students?

As students progress through school, they are often faced with a teacher who will give constructive criticism at school. These teachers generally do this in front of the class after a speech or project to “help” students by informing the class of things they could have done better or differently and things other students could learn from as well. How effective though, would most students say this technique really is?

Being in a creative major and classes, I have had to deal with this teaching style for years now. However, most students I know would say that teachers take their “constructive criticism” too far and go directly to bashing the students work. It’s often difficult to listen to, especially when its in front of the class. Many would also say the way it’s said can have a lot to do with how much the advice actually helps them improve. Many teachers end up just telling you all the things wrong with your project, and unfortunately not motivating the student to do well in the future as well as scaring the other students, making them afraid that they will be next in line for the abuse.

Students tend to stay away from teachers that they are aware do this kind of teaching. And most would agree it doesn’t help them become better, that it just makes them feel inferior to other students that don’t receive the same sort of feedback. Students almost always see that one student seems to get the “constructive criticism” more intensely than other students. Students seem to do better with teachers that privately give them their feedback to improve, rather then embarrassing them publicly.

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