Tag Archives: Hattie

Thought for a Friday May 26

25 May

checklist

My leadership style I have learnt sometimes depends on the situation. You can head into a leadership position with big dreams and the best intentions, and then remember you have to work with people who may not be on board with those big dreams, and suddenly lose those best intentions.

Other times as a leader you go into the situation ready to move forward, but because of mandates, rules and the politics of distraction (Hattie. 2015) you can become insecure and not sure what to do first. As leaders, when we have so many choices of where to start we sometimes choose not to choose at all. Understanding our current reality is important, but what should be on our radar is not always so glaringly obvious.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart…

Personally I always go back to Stephen Covey’s seminal work, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People he showed us with 7 habits that all successful people have, and taught us that with some hard work we can adopt those habits too.

Be proactive – Anticipate and act, no matter how difficult the situation.

Begin with the end in mind – What do we want out of leadership, and what should we want as a school community?

Put first things first – Drop the politics of distraction, understand our current reality, and take actionable steps to achieve that goal.

Think win/win

Seek first to understand then to be understood – Leaders should listen more than they talk, and try to understand where the other person is coming from before they try to move forward.

Synergize – This is all about collective efficacy, which Tschannen-Moran, M., & Barr, M. (2004) says,“refers to the collective self-perception that teachers in a given school make an educational difference to their students over and above the educational impact of their homes and communities.”

Sharpen the Saw – Know when to take a break. Schools with initiative fatigue never sharpen the saw.

Evidence and Learning Styles

1 Dec

mccarthy-where-teachers-differntiate-lessons-460x345

In health there are well-established protocols that govern the introduction of any new drug or treatment. Of major consideration is the notion of doing no harm. In education there are no such controls and plenty of vested interests keen to see the adoption of new strategies and resources for a variety of ideological and financial reasons.

Teachers need to be critical consumers of research – as with medicine, lives are also at stake – yet with the best will in the world and without the knowledge and time to do so, decisions may be made to adopt new approaches that are not only ineffectual, but can actually do harm. How often have I entered discussions and I have been told research says.

The notion of the existence of learning styles. The theory goes something like this: that people are “hard-wired” to learn best in a certain way. The theory is that if a teacher can provide learning activities and experiences that match a student’s supposed learning style, learning will be more effective.

Probably the best known are the “auditory” (learning best by hearing), “visual” (learning best through images), and “kinesthetic” (learning best through touch and movement) typologies of learners.

Learning styles has become a vast, lucrative industry with inventories, manuals, video resources, in-service packages, websites, publications and workshops. Some schools have spent many thousands of dollars assessing students using the various inventories.

Psychologists and neuroscientists agree there is little efficacy for these models, which are based on dubious evidence.

If learning styles exist at all, these are not “hard wired” and are at most simply preferences. What we prefer is neither fixed for all time nor always what is best for us.

Education professor John Hattie has noted that in this weeks reading. Worth thinking about don’t you think?

Visible Learning: John Hattie – Measuring impact

22 Aug

Impact

John Hattie’s work provides an important insight into the nature of educational research and the notion of measuring impact.  The idea that some strategies can be shown to have had more impact on average over time relative to others is crucial and his general message about the implications for teachers and the profession is very strong.  This video,gives a very good idea of Hattie’s thinking.  Of course, the effect size concept is problematic and is open to misinterpretation. This will create more discussion. What do you think?

Planning My Lessons

9 Mar

Planning the level of challenge of your lessons can be a difficult task.  It is important that knowing your group and where they are will help this.  My pieces about the famous learning plan have illustrated this. What you plan to do needs to be related to prior learning – which is why formative and summative assessment, and what you do with it, is so important.  For a while I thought I’d planned challenging lessons for all.  But that was the problem.  I rarely differentiated on an individual level and predominantly set the same task for all.  Challenge should apply to the learning, not merely the task.  And the learning needs to challenge all students.  Now this is a real skill and one that I have been honing for a while. I often organise prior learning collaboratively which my students love.

“Planning can be done in many ways, but the most powerful is when teachers work together to develop plans, develop common understandings of what is worth teaching, collaborate on understanding their beliefs of challenge and progress, and work together to evaluate the impact of their planning on student outcomes.”

Hattie 2012

Using colleagues to bounce ideas off of can be an excellent way of designing lessons.  There have been numerous times when I actively seek out colleagues and run ideas past them.  I know many departments set time aside to collaboratively plan larger schemes of work, but having a critical buddy to work with on individual lessons can be a great resource.

I will pay particular attention to the level of it in my lessons.  It’s important that I pitch it right.  Too easy and there is no reward.  Feedback has less effect and becomes low value.  Too hard and it can provide a feeling that achieving this goal is unobtainable. The only way I will know if the levels are correct is if I go back and check prior attainment and know my group before planning my lesson.

So why pay more attention to challenge this year more than before?  Well because of the various factors that it links to.  Memory and feedback being two in particular.  If we are to get the glutamate and dopamine present whilst learning and thus commit what we are learning to memory, we need to ensure that what work we set is challenging (so there is potential for a reward – achieving the goal) and actually achievable (to release the reward – chemicals).  If work is too easy and not challenging, these chemicals aren’t released as highly and won’t be committed to the long term memory (the aim of learning).

What Effective Feedback Is and Isn’t

11 Aug

 

As I prepare students for their next assignment I have stirred considerable interest in feedback and feed forward in conversations with students and staff.

Effective feedback is an enormous topic – and a crucial one for us to understand due to its powerful effect on student achievement.  Few aspects of teaching and learning have more potential to raise achievement.

To be effective, feedback must be goal-referenced, understandable, and immediately actionable.  Feedback should not be advice, evaluation, or value judgements.

Marge Scherer, editor of ASCD’s Educational Leadership, says that the best feedback “describes what the student has done and helps the student decide what to do next.” – notice she used the verb “describes” and not “evaluates”.

John Hattie and Helen Temperley, in their 2007 Article for Educational Review “Assessment: Feedback to Promote Student Learning”, gave us the three essential questions:
1. Where am I going? (What is the goal?)
2. How am I going? (What progress is being made towards the goal?)
3. Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?)

Hattie and Temperley called these: feed-up, feed-back, and feed-forward.

Grant Wiggins does a great job of further describing what effective feedback is and isn’t in his article: 7 Keys to Effective Feedback.

For Effective Teacher-to-Learner Feedback:

The key to effective feedback actually comes BEFORE the students begin their work.  Effective feedback requires well designed learning goals and success criteria against which students’ progress can be compared to formulate good feedback.  The timing of the completion of the work must be planned so the feedback can be given DURING the learning process, not after it.  Feedback loses a great deal of its impact if it is accompanied by a mark or grade.

To maximise the effectiveness of the feedback, teachers must:

Set clear, concrete, specific learning goals and must demonstrate what success will look like:
Do the students know what success looks like? Are the criteria clear enough for students to measure their work against it to identify gaps?

If you have the time and want to dive into some indepth study of Learning Goals, the Ontario Ministry of Education has put together a  short-course: Learning Goals & Success Criteria (6 videos of approx 8mins and a 57 page self-study guide).

Thanks to my PLN for providing me with this information this week.

Reponse

Thanks for the questions and feedback on online learning.

I hope this is useful. In my teaching environment we commonly use the discovery approach to learning. Students have little trouble with the discovery approach to learning (Constructivist), so long as it is purposeful, engaging and directed at using the processes of cognition that improve learning. The experience of this pedagogy is that it encourages teachers to deliver lessons that are accessible to the Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learner. The research of Kolb and Fry and also of Peter Jarvis, serves to remind us that in designing Online Courses, it is necessary to cater for the wide range of learning styles that exist (Smith 2001). Online Learning, should allow students to experience the Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic aspects of learning. This suggests that the online delivery of courses should draw on rich-mixed forms of media, to ensure maximum engagement with the students. Please contact me for references noted here.

Parental Engagement

8 Jul

In “Visible Learning”, John Hattie says that the inability of parents to ‘speak the language of learning’ can be a major barrier to student achievement.

If we are adopting new ways of learning and teaching, then perhaps we need new ways of engaging parents. If we were to develop some universal protocols then my top five would be :

  • engagement with parents from the beginning. I found sending a letter or a phone call can make a huge difference.
  • regular community forums and walk-throughs (parents need to see learning in action) – what about the use of blogs as a way of educating and engaging  parents in the conversation. Our own Open Day this year was an example of this success.
  • involve students in giving feedback to their parents on their learning. Student voice is always a valuable tool.
  • demonstrating the difference new approaches to learning are making
  • finding ways of celebrating good learning and teaching
  • ensuring an outlet for parent feedback

Learning in today’s world is a journey, not a destination. As we build on what we know works and respond to teacher ingenuity and innovations from their own learning we need to ensure that the whole school community is on the same journey.

Know Thy Impact Teaching, Learning and Leading

Feedback

19 May

“The most powerful single influence enhancing achievement is feedback.”  – John Hattie

https://i0.wp.com/eloquentscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/user-feedback-im-listening.png

Be it your students or those you appraise this is important.  My students while enjoying their grades enjoy the feedback process in the drafting process of assignments. Through our professional lives, assessments and evaluations stand as focal guideposts for determining our growth, as students and as employees.  Serving as an integral player in establishing our level of success from the earliest of ages through to retirement.

Good feedback is important. I find it humorous to see Michael Scott conduct his appraisal in The Office. It is funny because it is true. Unfortunately, those same assessment and evaluation processes marked for enhancing our learning and growth, often serve little more than to create winners and losers.  In the classroom…and in the workplace.  To overcome this requires a new mindset, one that moves us away from the casting of winners and losers…to creating learners.  And it hinges on one of the strongest influencers of learning…feedback.

Both children and adults understand that quality feedback is a necessity for ongoing learning.  Most of us yearn for authentic feedback to validate what we are doing or to provide direction to lead us down a more successful path.  When provided correctly, feedback can provide a continuum for growth…for creating personal goals to increase one’s learning and capacity.  According to John Hattie…“setting personal bests had high positive relationships to educational aspirations, enjoyment of school, and participation in class and persistence in task.”

The power of feedback to serve in the development of growth mindsets and ongoing learning…or to serve as the catalyst for sorting out the winners from the losers.

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