Visible Learning

Having waited eagerly for my copy of John Hattie’s Visible Learning, I was delighted when it arrived last Friday just in time for a solid weekend of reading.

There are a couple of versions of the book: one for researchers and another for teachers. I chose the researcher version as I hoped it would contain more of the technical analyses and provide a more secure statistical background to the study. Without seeing the other, I can’t compare. But certainly, I’m not disappointed in the least.

I’ll add thoughts to my reading as the process continues. For now, I’ll say that the work is gold, not comedy gold, but educational gold. In the introduction, Hattie all too briefly dismissed the inclusion of any EFL/ ESL study in his data. While this cut me to the quick, the rest–so far–is a treasure trove of quality data on many aspects of education.

The take-away message is clear: teachers who make learning goals clear, i.e. visible, to students, create far better learning environments in which their charges can learn.

I have a few reservations that I hope are addressed during the work. Classroom ecologies are highly specific in nature, responding sensitively as they do to the various forces of micro-cultures, sensitivities, personalities and so on in their midsts. Even massive scale studies such as this one may seem to be objective but may actually fall foul to a inclusive fallacy. Also, the majority of cited studies are those done on compulsory-aged pupils. I wonder how Hattie will discuss the appropriacy of his suggestions to more mature students.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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