John Hattie- Visible Learning 2014 by Cheryl Pennington

John Hattie: Effect Sizes – Latest Research

On Monday 19th May, I joined a number of enthusiastic, passionate teachers for a conference on outstanding teaching and learning, which included a session with Professor John Hattie. Hattie’s session focused on the impact of surface and deep learning.

Transfer of learning in one context can enhance or undermine a related performance in another context. 21st Century skills need to take place in a context.

Deep learning sometimes but not always follows surface learning. During the learning process there are different aspects to be aware of:

1) Levels of Learning

  • Surface and deep learning.
  • Near and far learning
  • Thinking slow and thinking fast – deep thinking require slow thinking. Daniel Khanman thinking fast and slow.

2) Thinking is hard, we are not born to think as evidenced by our limited short term memory. The more we can practise and use effort, the more we gain mastery.

3) Pre- Labelling students can have a negative effect of up to -0.6 on learning e.g. students with diagnosed ADHD or Aspergers.

4) The Social Brain, learning in pairs is more powerful than learning individually. In pairs you can have shared goals, have dialogue not monologue and develop the power of listening.

Strategies to facilitate learning

1) Backward design the learning programme starting with the success criteria first. Start with what success looks like and the summative assessment, then plan backwards.

2) Create a concept map; an overall map of what learning will look like so that students see the overall picture and be able to relate all the ideas together.

3) Encourage students to invest in learning and deliberate practice. Malcolm Gladwell suggests 10,000 hours before you can become an expert in an area, for example Michael Jordan.

4) Teach students self regulation; encourage them to question why do you think it is like this?

5) Encourage students to use self talk i.e. self verbalisation and self questioning.

6) Students should enhance their learning through social learning. Through the power of peer learning, students are more likely to learn from peers than teachers, What they are learning needs to be correct though!

7) Students need to organise themselves to learn effectively e.g. time management and prioritising.

8) Teachers should diagnose what works, consider effective interventions and evaluate the impact on students’ learning. There should be a focus on how students receive feedback in addition to the nature of the feedback


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