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Developing understanding of pupil feedback using Habermas’ notion of communicative action

Dann, R (2015) Developing understanding of pupil feedback using Habermas’ notion of communicative action. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice. ISSN 0969-594X

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Abstract

The focus of this article is to explore the notion of pupil feedback and the possible ways in which it can be understood and developed using Jürgen Habermas’ theory of Communicative Action. The theoretical position adopted is framed within the concept of assessment for learning, and is particularly related to the notion of assessment as learning within AfL. Furthermore, the paper is located within a social constructivist perspective. Jürgen Habermas’ theory of Communicative Action enables us to recognise that feedback, and more importantly the interpretation of feedback, cannot be a one-way process. Without recognition of pupil interpretation, its very purpose (to alter the learning gap) is compromised. This paper offers new ways of exploring feedback, which recognise complexity and the importance of interpretation and relationships in shared negotiated communicative contexts. It further contributes to the ways in which assessment and learning are understood and intersect.

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