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John Hattie’s Visible Learning: 5 Surprising Findings

8 November, 2012

John Hattie’s work has been circulating around the UK since 2008 and the country’s schools are on the edge of a revolution.  Visible Learning, is the largest ever collection of evidence-based research into what makes a difference to learning in schools.

John Hattie Visible LearningSo, you may ask, what does it mean for me? Well, here are 5 things you might not have known-which can transform your teaching today:

Girls aren’t that much more successful than boys (0.09)

So it seems. The evidence from thousands of international studies points to an effect size of just 0.09, mere drop in the evidence ocean. You see, as you know and your colleagues will confirm, there is nothing inherently brilliant about girls or boys that makes them do great things. It’s all about the teaching.

Class size doesn’t matter (0.21)

Wait, what? Pupils in classes of 40 do almost as well as those in classes of 15? Well, it depends. Hattie’s research shows there is no point pouring resources and effort into reducing the size of classes if we don’t change the teaching that happens in those classes. If you lecture your small groups, guess what, they’ll have the same outcomes as the lectured large groups. Class size, in and of itself, is not a major influence on achievement.

No-one likes homework (0.29)

Your class could tell you that, but so can the evidence. The research concluded that doing extra work in the home environment generated scarcely any benefit in relation to achievement, an effect size of 0.29. Excellent teaching in the classroom is what makes a difference. Good news for anyone drowning under a November marking mountain!

Great leaders make a difference (0.39)

Not a huge one, but a difference all the same. School leaders who invest thought, time and effort in the improvement of teaching in their schools will see results.

Self-assessment is good assessment (1.44)

This is the most significant factor studied by Hattie in his 15 years of work. Students who are able to articulate what their learning outcomes and test results might be are far more likely to be successful than other learners. These students will be engaged with their learning and be active participants in their learning. Assessment-capable learners can answer the questions: Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next?

As part of our new exclusive partnership, this month John Hattie will be presenting Visible Learning Foundation Day on the 19th November in Manchester and the 20th November in London for Osiris Educational.  Limited places are still available. Call 0808 160 5 160 now to avoid disappointment.

John Hattie will be speaking at this year’s London Festival of Education, in which Osiris Educational is a key partner.

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