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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and relevant, 23 May 2012
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This review is from: Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement (Kindle Edition)
As a senior leader in a UK academy, I try to stay abreast of current educational thinking. However, so much of what I read is modish and over-hyped, and often the result of a knee jerk reaction to government thinking. As Hattie says in the final chapter of this book, little of what we implement in schools today is based on a depth of research. It is reaction-based innovation rather than evidence-based.

In this book, Hattie dispels many of the more prevalent attitudes to learning today. By distilling the findings of around 800 meta-analyses, he has effectively assembled one the largest evidence bases in history. What he has discovered should warn us against some of the new practices we seem so bent on introducing. Problem-based learning? It may be good for acquiring skills like teamwork, but it does little to improve achievement. Homework? The advice is keep it short and focused, which again counters the more recent belief that extended, open ended home learning tasks are more effective. Directed teaching? This is still one of the most effective ways of getting students to learn.

One of the most interesting, and oft repeated refrains in the book is the importance of constructive feedback. Time and again Hattie emphasises just how important good feedback is: and that it is feedback from the student to the teacher, rather than the other way round, that is most effective. This, coupled with clear learning goals and an understanding on the part of the student of what success is, has the greatest impact on learning.

I urge anyone with an interest in raising attainment to read this book.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jul 2012 06:59:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jul 2012 07:00:46 BDT
pel-j says:
Just that Hattie's book is also open to debate - and I think that he would expect that. Precisely because it draws together so much research, distils and orders the outcomes means that it is in danger from the cherrypicker of educational approaches - 'yes, I'll have all of the top ten'. But what is used and how it is used and when it is used must surely also be a factor in effectiveness of an approach. There are many forms which homework can take. There are also many reasons why a specific homework type might be given. Enthusiasm for this very interesting work should not also become a stranglehold on progress and contextually-led variety in the school or classroom.
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