Saturday, July 19, 2014

Know Thy Impact

John Hattie VISIBLE LEARNING FOR TEACHERS —Maximizing Impact on Learning

Visible Learning for Teachers is a powerful read. John Hattie summarizes 15 years of evidence based research and purposefully answers the question, “How do we maximize achievement in our schools?” He clearly states what actually works and how can we implement best practices in our own classrooms and schools. Hattie’s practical approaches provides opportunities for both the visible learner and visible teacher to consistently experience successful outcomes.

Here are my personal ah-ha moments and reminders while reading Visible Learning for Teachers. I truly tried to narrow it down to 10, but it was just impossible to do so.

“For any particular intervention to be considered worthwhile, it needs to show an improvement in student learning of at least an average gain—that is, an effect size of at least d = 0.40—the “hinge point” for identifying what is and what is not effective” (pg. 3).

“What is most important is that teaching is visible to the students, and that the learning is visible to the teacher. The more the student becomes the teacher and the more the teacher becomes the learner, then the more successful are the outcomes” (Hattie, 2009) (pg. 21). 

“The key issue is that children may think differently from adults/teachers, which means that attention needs to be given to how and not only to what the child is learning” (pg.43).
“The most important task is for teachers to listen” (pg. 81).

“Teachers who speak of ‘learning styles’ are labelling students in terms of how they (the teachers) think the students think, and thus overlooking the fact that the student can change, and learn new ways of thinking and can meet challenges in learning” (pg. 89).
“The focus of decision-making is more about developing the strategies of learning to achieve the success targets, and less about implementing a particular teaching method” (pg. 120).

“Nuthall (2005) found that most feedback that students obtained in any day in classrooms was from other students – and that most of this feedback was incorrect” (pg.138).

“Disconfirmation can be more powerful than confirmation” (pg. 139).

“Celebrate success, but examine it” (pg. 141).

“Teachers too often see assessments feedback as making statement about students and not about their teaching, and hence the benefits of feedback from such testing are often diluted” (pg. 141).

Replace your dinner conversations to, “What was the best thing that you did today (other than playtime)?’ to ‘What feedback did you receive from your teachers today?’” (pg. 150).

“The important distinction, however, is to move from the notion of ‘instructional leaders’ (which places too much emphasis on the instruction to ‘learning leaders’ (which places the emphasis on student and adult learning)” (pg. 175).

“We need to move from the prepositional divide of assessment as ‘assessments of’ and ‘assessment for’ to assessment as feedback for teachers” (pg.185).

"Not all teachers are effective, not all teachers are experts, and not all teachers have powerful effect of students” (Hattie, 2009) (pg. 190).
“My role, as a teacher, is to evaluate the effect I have on my students.’ It is to ‘know thy impact’, it is to understand this impact, and it is to act on this knowing and understanding”    (pg. 23).

For a more comprehensive summary of his synthesized research findings here is a link to Hattie presenting to a captive Ted Talk audience on what really matters for student achievement. Hattie on Ted.

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