Success criteria have become an increasingly common pedagogical feature in British education. This blog post explores the extent to which success criteria can become a barrier to achievement or can allow students to flourish in unexpected ways.
|Success criteria: barrier or launch pad?|
I recently updated some success criteria for a Year 8 investigation on Antarctic tourism. The old criteria looked somewhat jaded and I was keen to give my students an opportunity exceed way beyond what they would usually be expected to achieve. I gave some guidance to my students and I was impressed by how keen they were to try them out. The result was incredible. I saw the most impressive Year 8 work in my whole teaching career from at least two students who were operating at AS level! It wasn’t just a few students either – the majority of my students achieved way beyond their expected progress.
|Year 8 Antarctic tourism sites- proportional symbols map|
|Year 7 incredible edible rainforest cake|
If as a child without guidance I could learn so much, how much more WITH guidance and our pedagogical skills should our students learn even more! If we as teachers can combine inspirational learning, ambitious success criteria and useful resources with opportunities for creativity, surely the sky is the limit for our students!
For discussion: can limited success criteria be a ‘glass ceiling’ on student achievement? Can ambitious success criteria still limit achievement?