Bill Gates: Teachers need real feedback


Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Morton Bast Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. (Laughter) My bridge coach, Sharon Osberg, says there are more pictures of the back of her head than anyone else’s in the world. (Laughter) Sorry, Sharon. Here you go. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. Unfortunately, there’s one group of people who get almost no systematic feedback to help them do their jobs better, and these people have one of the most important jobs in the world. I’m talking about teachers. When Melinda and I learned how little useful feedback most teachers get, we were blown away. Until recently, over 98 percent of teachers just got one word of feedback: Satisfactory. If all my bridge coach ever told me was that I was “satisfactory,” I would have no hope of ever getting better. How would I know who was the best? How would I know what I was doing differently? Today, districts are revamping the way they evaluate teachers, but we still give them almost no feedback that actually helps them improve their practice. Our teachers deserve better. The system we have today isn’t fair to them. It’s not fair to students, and it’s putting America’s global leadership at risk. So today I want to talk about how we can help all teachers get the tools for improvement they want and deserve. Let’s start by asking who’s doing well. Well, unfortunately there’s no international ranking tables for teacher feedback systems. So I looked at the countries whose students perform well academically, and looked at what they’re doing to help their teachers improve. Consider the rankings for reading proficiency. The U.S. isn’t number one. We’re not even in the top 10. We’re tied for 15th with Iceland and Poland. Now, out of all the places that do better than the U.S. in reading, how many of them have a formal system for helping teachers improve? Eleven out of 14. The U.S. is tied for 15th in reading, but we’re 23rd in science and 31st in math. So there’s really only one area where we’re near the top, and that’s in failing to give our teachers the help they need to develop their skills. Let’s look at the best academic performer: the province of Shanghai, China. Now, they rank number one across the board, in reading, math and science, and one of the keys to Shanghai’s incredible success is the way they help teachers keep improving. They made sure that younger teachers get a chance to watch master teachers at work. They have weekly study groups, where teachers get together and talk about what’s working. They even require each teacher to observe and give feedback to their colleagues. You might ask, why is a system like this so important? It’s because there’s so much variation in the teaching profession. Some teachers are far more effective than others. In fact, there are teachers throughout the country who are helping their students make extraordinary gains. If today’s average teacher could become as good as those teachers, our students would be blowing away the rest of the world. So we need a system that helps all our teachers be as good as the best. What would that system look like? Well, to find out, our foundation has been working with 3,000 teachers in districts across the country on a project called Measures of Effective Teaching. We had observers watch videos of teachers in the classroom and rate how they did on a range of practices. For example, did they ask their students challenging questions? Did they find multiple ways to explain an idea? We also had students fill out surveys with questions like, “Does your teacher know when the class understands a lesson?” “Do you learn to correct your mistakes?” And what we found is very exciting. First, the teachers who did well on these observations had far better student outcomes. So it tells us we’re asking the right questions. And second, teachers in the program told us that these videos and these surveys from the students were very helpful diagnostic tools, because they pointed to specific places where they can improve. I want to show you what this video component of MET looks like in action. (Music) (Video) Sarah Brown Wessling: Good morning everybody. Let’s talk about what’s going on today. To get started, we’re doing a peer review day, okay? A peer review day, and our goal by the end of class is for you to be able to determine whether or not you have moves to prove in your essays. My name is Sarah Brown Wessling. I am a high school English teacher at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa. Turn to somebody next to you. Tell them what you think I mean when I talk about moves to prove. I’ve talk about — I think that there is a difference for teachers between the abstract of how we see our practice and then the concrete reality of it. Okay, so I would like you to please bring up your papers. I think what video offers for us is a certain degree of reality. You can’t really dispute what you see on the video, and there is a lot to be learned from that, and there are a lot of ways that we can grow as a profession when we actually get to see this. I just have a flip camera and a little tripod and invested in this tiny little wide-angle lens. At the beginning of class, I just perch it in the back of the classroom. It’s not a perfect shot. It doesn’t catch every little thing that’s going on. But I can hear the sound. I can see a lot. And I’m able to learn a lot from it. So it really has been a simple but powerful tool in my own reflection. All right, let’s take a look at the long one first, okay? Once I’m finished taping, then I put it in my computer, and then I’ll scan it and take a peek at it. If I don’t write things down, I don’t remember them. So having the notes is a part of my thinking process, and I discover what I’m seeing as I’m writing. I really have used it for my own personal growth and my own personal reflection on teaching strategy and methodology and classroom management, and just all of those different facets of the classroom. I’m glad that we’ve actually done the process before so we can kind of compare what works, what doesn’t. I think that video exposes so much of what’s intrinsic to us as teachers in ways that help us learn and help us understand, and then help our broader communities understand what this complex work is really all about. I think it is a way to exemplify and illustrate things that we cannot convey in a lesson plan, things you cannot convey in a standard, things that you cannot even sometimes convey in a book of pedagogy. Alrighty, everybody, have a great weekend. I’ll see you later. [Every classroom could look like that] (Applause) Bill Gates: One day, we’d like every classroom in America to look something like that. But we still have more work to do. Diagnosing areas where a teacher needs to improve is only half the battle. We also have to give them the tools they need to act on the diagnosis. If you learn that you need to improve the way you teach fractions, you should be able to watch a video of the best person in the world teaching fractions. So building this complete teacher feedback and improvement system won’t be easy. For example, I know some teachers aren’t immediately comfortable with the idea of a camera in the classroom. That’s understandable, but our experience with MET suggests that if teachers manage the process, if they collect video in their own classrooms, and they pick the lessons they want to submit, a lot of them will be eager to participate. Building this system will also require a considerable investment. Our foundation estimates that it could cost up to five billion dollars. Now that’s a big number, but to put it in perspective, it’s less than two percent of what we spend every year on teacher salaries. The impact for teachers would be phenomenal. We would finally have a way to give them feedback, as well as the means to act on it. But this system would have an even more important benefit for our country. It would put us on a path to making sure all our students get a great education, find a career that’s fulfilling and rewarding, and have a chance to live out their dreams. This wouldn’t just make us a more successful country. It would also make us a more fair and just one, too. I’m excited about the opportunity to give all our teachers the support they want and deserve. I hope you are too. Thank you. (Applause)

100 Comments

  1. What I noticed is that it shows classrooms of around twenty students when in reality most of the classrooms in public schools the average is forty students per class. Also, with the automatic promotion, there is a wide diversity of skills among the students. The Math textbooks, for example are growing and growing in content that makes key information to stick less and less because it's expected to COVER more and more information in the same amount of time.

  2. yes i agree that teachers should deserve have more resources and feedback to change their way of teaching

  3. The woman in the video only has 20 students. Try multiplying that by two or even three. I have had high school math classes of 63 and 65. In an hour lesson, you can only spend 1 minute with each student. But I digress; the feedback I get is often very general and unconstructive. I do not want a helicopter hovering over me, but more than one 10-20 minute observation a year would be nice.

  4. Teachers get feedback. It's in front of them every single day. The students. They say every day that you are good or not. Teachers pay attention to your students.

  5. 用老公的钱买名牌,用自己的钱做善事,不是很好吗?未来的老公要多赚点。🤔🤔🤔

  6. it is not a good idea. Esp. in China lots of teachers will be watched by this technical camera which is a changeable way to sacrifice your independence.

  7. well…Bill Gates one of the most generous man in the world….just admired to the his kindness heart…and even getting older but still good looking….and still being handsome🖒

  8. wonderful notion for teachers to tape their classes… except that it can be seen as a violation of FERPA unless you get a signed release from each student

  9. I’m sure that teacher improved her appearance and visual performance, and learned a lot about herself. And it made her feel improvement. And the kids? Learned that apparently appearance really matters. Sad…

  10. Srihaitanya and narayana are the best educational institution in the world.CAUZE THESE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS KILLED INNOCENT STUDENTS IN THE NAME OF EDCTION

  11. Teachers are the real nation builders,their role cannot be overemphasized. Teachers are given feedback here in Edo state Nigeria, the governor has trained learning and development officers who give feedback to different teachers in different schools everyday,and we have seen a steady progress in education since the inception of the program

  12. Hello Sir, Mr. Bill Gates
    You have seen my message and I am hopeful that you will respond me positively and I am waiting for it.

  13. We must also understand that sometimes it's not that the teaching is ineffective but it's the resources that are lacking that would help us teachers cater to the various learning styles (visual, tactile kinesthetic, audio, etc). I've been at schools at which there is and has been very limited teaching material that would help teachers do their job and sometimes the devices or material (that would help to make their lessons more interactive and interesting) aren't available and maybe costly for some teachers. If those could be made accessible to all teachers then the world would would definitely be a much better place. As many have declared, teachers haven't been rewarded or paid as much as they deserve and there's not enough money in the world that would suffice for the kind of service we render to all learners.

  14. In philippines, lack of learning materials..need to search on the internet with your own money..the salary is so small..neglected..so much paper works..already has electronic class records but why still required to write in manual class records..teachers have families too..cannot even get health benefits for self and dependents..how can be effective & effecient with that situation..numbers of teachers here already commit suicide..

  15. I dream of a world where people have the entirety of human observations in a sort of Random Access Memory; not cyborgs, just a really good system of finding and understanding relevant material. The only way I see us mustering the effort to do that is through the skillful forging of human group mentality in a database of all things humanly known, and a near frictionless entry system for both content, and ratings on that content.

  16. Give us more money, more time, and policies that are actually logical, effective, and are developed by actual educators.

  17. God Bless you, Bill…and thank you for watching out for and investing in our educators. Together we're better.

  18. "One Day we want every classroom to look something like that," …….. an all white classroom with money enough to buy a Smartboard………. Got it!

  19. Shanghai’s successful story does correlate to teacher feedback practices, however that is NOT the reason that some schools in Shanghai succeed. Reason #1. Selection of students to enter those elite schools being tested #2 long hours of learning and teaching at schools #3 Long hours of learning and teaching after schools at home or other cram schools # 4 the culture that sets education as the top priority of the family #5 tiger moms or dads.

  20. Teachers need businessmen and politicians to do their jobs and to stop telling teachers how to do theirs. (However, schools could do a better job of posting their curriculum maps so parents know what the students are studying, and posting teachers' transcripts and CVs for parents to review.)

  21. But there's more work to do, thank you so much Bill. God bless you for your contribution to our generation.

  22. I believe this has been said before, but it deserves to be said again. Our data comes from EVERY student in this country. All kids are required to go to school. Do you think in Shanghai this is the case? We serve students from every background imaginable. Do you think Finland has this? We need to look within our own systems for improvement. Even look at the example from Iowa. How much diversity do you see there? That’s not to assume there isn’t any, but you can see they are all the same race, from the same town…so forth. Take that against classes that I have had where students aren’t even from the US, but countries around the world who just arrived. Students who can’t even read at home because they don’t have electricity.

  23. Well, I hope you can change the way of thinking of the people sitting in the department of education in our country. They are so into these ideas, and push these ideas so much which are already impossible, to think that they are not the ones in the field of teaching and dealing with the different needs of students. Our system of education sucks.

  24. Dear Mr. Bill Gates

    All is possible if only teachers and students are involved in the learning and teaching profession. If no other third person’s business is involved, students and teachers’ success is 100% guaranteed.

    No sensible person in the world can expect the best driving when one is sitting on the driving seat but the steering wheel is hijacked. Unfortunately, the same is the case with the educational world!

    The hijacked education system is getting repaired by training the teachers to bring the best results. So what the business world has hijacked the educational world!

    Efficiency never comes where the best fruit is eaten by those
    who are the least interested even to plant it. The educational world is being wasted rather than invested when teachers who should be crowned as masters are treated unfairly like slaves. When in the educational world unfairly masters become slaves and business helpers become masters, then education is pretended to exist there but it actually never exists there. No where in the world leaders are treated unfairly like teachers who are the real leaders of the educational world.

    The end result of such hijacked educational world can be experienced by everyone everyday in the world.

    The more destruction in the world

    than the construction in the world

    speaks volumes about the #education

    that it is just the #degrees' #decoration
    no more the real #education. 

    The best solution is #Educational world must be like free market system without the third person business involved. If only teachers who teach and students who learn are involved, then educational world would become more efficient to serve the society best that the world needs today. For #PEACE to prevail in the world needs the #educational world's masters/teachers/leaders to live in #PEACE.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/n-a-sheikh-67b93136/

    [#CreativeWriter & #Economist

     –  LinkedIn: N. A. Sheikh]

  25. Interesting video the classrom is changing since. 1800.
    Today have a lot of inventions and aplications to possible use in the classroom. The camera is a great idea.
    The idea of classroom was 1800 today is changing special calculator is other element to use.

  26. It’s kinda funny the woman in the video is using a Mac when bill gates is giving this talk lol. Great talk though.

  27. Can someone else?? https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/threelly-ai-for-youtube/dfohlnjmjiipcppekkbhbabjbnikkibo

  28. Sometimes in some counties , the Teachers r over confident , arrogant , Not taking any feedbacks from parents at all . So not always the case where these Teachers deserved to be better . But the entire system is just built in that way.

  29. STFU bill gates. Your common core fiasco cost the future of a whole generation! Oops is about all you said when you acknowledged it does not work. Many people tried to fight this from day one. Why people think that someone with a lot of money has any better ideas than someone who knows what they are actually doing. WHY listen to Mark Zuckerberg? Musk? Turner?

  30. Done right, teaching at every level includes a feedback loop that informs the teacher of the effectiveness of each lesson. Starting with self evaluation and involving student feedback at several levels teachers can improve their performance every day. What is never talked about is the impact of bad behavior of students on student outcomes. To a degree teachers can and should be able to take care of the little to medium size problems that come up. But there are still schools in the U.S. where teachers are in cages to protect them from violence, rape and even murder. Once we solve these problems we will find that teachers in this country will rise to the top of the world stage due to the incredible training and dedication they have.

  31. Why so many girls and teenages are uneducated in Afghanistan, what is the reason, why you don't help them economically? They need education and it so necessary!!!

  32. Unfortunately this system doesn't work in the college education system. There's no requirement or incentive for a professor to improve when they provide the service of research and bring in revenue that way. After all college is firstly a business, and secondly an education institution.

  33. Not only the teachers need feedback, but the students also need to see how they work in the class. Of course the admins should hear the feedback from teachers, students and parents.

  34. With all due respect, Mr Gates, Polish and English are two different languages. You cannot compare the linguistic hurdles that English native speakers have to surpass in order to attain reading proficiency with that of the Poles. Polish is a truly tough language to learn even for natives. The syntax and other devices of the Polish language are so intricate that it is nigh impossible for a foreigner to equal native speaking proficiency no matter how many years they live in Poland. Polish and English do not have level ground in terms of difficulty.

  35. Bill gates fazendo elogio aos chineses que em breve vão produzir computadores melhores e mais barato que ele

  36. I am excited for a future where Americans can tell the difference between South America and Asia on a map🙄

  37. Teachers in the U.S also have incentives for good scores on the standardized tests to make them look good. College professors are only worried about their ratings half the time. I have professors who have given me bonuses just to give them good reviews.

  38. Teachers are just "senior students" .. the day they would start believing in it, they would be right on the track of continuous improvement in methodology and efficiency

  39. Coming from the guy who has put Technology in the hands of kids, what a joke. Now it’s twice as hard for a child to learn thanks to her/his ADD from overuse of Technology. Furthermore, address the parents who need the FEEDBACK!

  40. Put all the cameras you want in the classroom. It’s not going to do anything to help combat poor parenting, poor diet, ADD, drug abuse, media influence and the new sense of entitlement. If you treat education like Yelp reviews or customer service in a compulsory activity, the feedback will consistently be shaded. This whole profession is headed for the internet just like libraries.

  41. Give your employees feedback. Duh everybody knows that. I wasted 10 minutes and 20 seconds of my time watching this.

  42. First, teachers need to make a better living. When school is out, many don’t get paid. Teachers who teach adults don’t get any paid vacation, aren’t allowed to get sick, and work 9 months out of the year. No bonuses like huge corporations, always dealing with budget cuts, plan lessons on their personal time, and I can go on. So let’s start by getting teachers paid.

  43. Haven't teachers/districts been doing this already for years??? Again, another non educator pushing ideas/policies and never once having taught in a classroom.😒 I love how they always show examples of "great" teaching methods showcasing the "perfect" students. But they never show the reality of the class population across America: non compliant behavior/attitudes, poverty, disabilities, trauma, family dysfunction, poor health, etc. Or the fact teachers barely have time to plan lessons, but somehow must find more time meet and observe others, or work extra after school hours to complete tasks- without the benefits of higher pay?? Or how about the fact that China operates under a totally different system of government, and students don't worry about language barriers for communicating ideas as is the case with the high number of immigrants we get each year who need to first be taught the language in order to succeed academically. In China they all speak ONE language and live in ONE culture, NOT a melting pot of subxultures and languages /dialects as we do in America. Or how about the fact that families place a high emphasis on education and fully support their child's education at home? Their homelife sets the tone for the students mindset before they even start school. Or how about the level of respect they teach their children to show towrds adults? Meanwhile, teachers have to deal with all of these factors and issues…AND somehow, successfully bring forth a generation of students who are at the top tier for education worldwide?? Why aren't any of these factors included in the reasons for low academic performance.?? But no, it's always about placing more blame or responsibility on the teacher. How about placing some accountability on our faulty society as well as the department of education? 💯 MAYBE if we took away all this forced standardized testing so teachers can go back to you know, teaching…and provide flexibility for FUN and creativity in the classroom, kids will actually respond, enjoy school and gain academic success🙃Maybe if they were allowed more than 20min of exercise per day or even per WEEK in some cases, to play in the fresh air…u know to stimulate the brain and feed it oxygen….MAYBE that could also help students focus and do better. MAYBE if they emphasized the arts more and allowed students to develop their natural intelligences, there would be a positive outcome. MAYBE if politics weren't brought into the classroom, students could actually learn how to become FREE independent thinkets… Just….maybe…But whatever, I'm not Bill Gates. what would a teacher who ACTUALLY works in the educational system, with ACTUAL students, not sitting behind some fancy desk…what would I or ppl like me know??🤷jmo.

  44. 100% I agree with you. My son suffers a lot in the schools "public and private". He is gifted in comic drawing, and talented in mathematics. No one cares about his gifted or talented. They punished him if want to draw. WE NEED A MERICLE IN OUR SCHOOLS. Our educational system for normal students only and whose manage are normal too. If you like to change the product you have to change the teacher's minds first.

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  46. True, but a bit rich from a man who ignores billions of windows users. Should take his own advice to heart. Every new version of windows gets worse than the previous version. If people had a real choice then they would use it and ditch windows.

  47. Cameras in classrooms, WTF. Doesn't this man have enough of spying on everyone's computer via "windows updates". Try switching off windows updates. You can't. Any hack you try and Windows will circumvent your hack and turn windows updates on again.

  48. We need more valid and reliable research on this teacher feedback methodology before concluding that it's recommended for all.

    A few things to consider:

    1) classroom sizes.

    2) teacher's personality in general (e.g. do all teachers feel comfortable being recorded on camera? )

    3) students (e.g. do we assume that students behave well when they know that they're being recorded on camera? Or do they have a different set of personalities off camera? )

    4) measurement of students' academic performance and motivational levels with this method of feedback. Any correlation between them?

  49. In Africa, Especially Uganda We welcome such talks to the Teachers to get FeedBack! Bill Gates should also visit Ugandan Teachers and Deliver Such Talks to Connect Him He Call on this Number+256775637101 Teacher Buuza Chris M

  50. Debe ser muy interesante lo que habla, que lastima que ni siquiera se molestaron en traducir al español. 😑

  51. Why doesn't hè take an injection from his own toxic cocktail like he does allover the world? He belongs in jail.

  52. Anyone in Bots got this link from the "UB got this link from the COM 141 videos for continuous assessment 1" microsoft word file

  53. so I decided to create this channel where I put presentation based lectures on knowledge so I can help others as a good teacher 😊

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