Sunday, October 14, 2018

Mindframes Matter

John Hattie & Klaus Zierer 10 MINDFRAMES for Visible Learning—Teaching for Success

I read John Hattie’s books initially as a teacher and now as a principal. I was excited to read his latest book 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning, Teaching for Success by Hattie and co-authored by Zierer because it offered a different perspective for students, teachers, principals, and district administrators. “The question this book addresses is related to the one big critical idea underlying success in making a difference to the learning lives of students--the mindframes of the educators” (p. xx).

Hattie and Zierer inform the reader educational expertise are both about competence and mindframes. “Expert teachers have answers not only to the question of what they are doing but also to the question of how and why they are doing what they are doing” (p. XV). Mindful teachers evaluate their impact by asking themselves how to “change and challenge” their current teaching practices so all students can improve. Mindful teachers evaluate how they collaborate through feedback, dialog, and building trusting relationships in order to develop a “learning focus”. Most importantly, mindful teachers continually reflect on the value an equitable impact has on learning for each of their students. “A high degree of competence alone is clearly not enough to lay the foundation for expertise, nor are even the best of mindframes. The important thing is rather the interaction between competence and mindframes” (xvi).

The book was written for students who want to understand their own learning, as an instructional resource for teachers, a guide for principals in order to inspire and motivate teachers to work together, and for other administrators to understand the current classroom challenges with all of the above-invested participants. It is tempting to simply list the ten Mindframes followed by celebrating the brilliance and insights of each Mindframe and encourage students, teachers, principals, and administrators to adhere to the author’s evidence-based research practices. Although it so much more than that. At the end of the book Hattie & Zierer reference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  They reminded the reader Dr. King “did not proclaim “I have a strategy” or “I have a plan”; instead, he said, “I have a dream” (p. 166). Hattie and Zierer have strategically inspired a vision for educators to develop expertise through both competence and mindframes. Their vision includes the following 10 mindframes.

I am an evaluator of my impact on student learning.
I see assessment as informing my impact and next steps.
I collaborate with my peers and my students about my conceptions of progress and my impact.
I am a change agent and believe all students can improve.
I strive for challenge and not merely ‘doing your best’
I gave and help students understand feedback and I interpret and act on feedback given to me.
I engage as much in dialogue and monologue.
I explicitly inform students what successful impact looks like from the outset.
I build relationships and trust so that learning can occur in a place where it is safe to make mistakes and learn from others.
I focus on learning and the language of learning.
Hattie and Zierer said it best by sharing, “Successful teachers are passionate not only about the subject they teach but also about teaching and learning in general, about the learners, and about their profession. About their impact on their students. This passion is important not just for becoming a successful teacher, but also for remaining in this challenging profession and therefore, for remaining a successful teacher in the long run” (p. XVII).

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