Feedback literacy research has variously cast the teacher in the role of ‘information provider’, or ‘contributor‘ to feedback dialogue, focussing on cognitive, and social-affective learner processes. If feedback is considered from an alternate, sociomaterial perspective (Gravett 2020), the role of all actors (human and non-human), and the importance of the interplay between those actors, resources, contexts, and structures, comes to the fore (Biesta & Tedder, 2007).
From this perspective, feedback literacies might be more than just a set of predetermined skills or capabilities. They could be understood as how an individual ‘reads the world’ (Freire, 1985) and participates in emergent situations which are not wholly under any one person’s control. In this framing, we contend that the role of one of these key actors: the ‘teacher’ needs to be further explored. We introduce the notion that there is a multiplicity of capabilities, and a symmetry of feedback literacies between learners and teachers, where context and role of both self and others are acknowledged.
We explore feedback literacies from a Theory of Practice Architectures perspective, which allows us to illuminate and interrogate the structures which influence the possibilities for feedback practice. We build on previous conceptions of teacher feedback literacy (Winstone & Carless 2020) to highlight the interrelatedness of teacher and learner practices, and how knowing not only one’s own role, but how human and non-human actors co-produce practices, underpins feedback literacies.
This conceptual work has implications for both feedback practice and research. It will open up possibilities for seeing teacher and student feedback literacies not as separate capabilities to develop, but as entangled and embodied knowing and acting. This may shift the focus of efforts to develop feedback literacies within educational settings. Future avenues and methodologies for research on teachers’ feedback literacies in higher education will also be shared.
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