John Hattie: Visible Learning | Chapter 7: The Contributions from the Teacher

Notes from this chapter of John Hattie's 'Visible Learning'

No teacher would describe themselves as below average and every teacher believes they are effective, but within-school factors, in particular teacher quality, account for a much larger proportion of variance than between-school factors. Teacher effects are much larger in low-SES schools than high, meaning "in low SES schools, it matter more which teacher a child receives than it does in high-SES schools"
Most effective teacher contributions:

  • Microteaching (ES=0.88): Typically involves student-teacher conducting (mini-) lessons to a small group of students (often in a laboratory setting) and then engaging in post??discussions??about the lessons. They are videotaped for later analysis, and allow an often intense under-the-microscope view of their teaching. All components should be included: theory, demonstration and practice, as well as feedback and coaching, preferably in a distributed rather than condensed way across many sessions. Demonstration (ES=1.65) is much more effective than theory (ES=0.15)
  • Teacher clarity (ES=0.75): defined as organisation, explanation, examples, guided practice and assessment of student learning. Clarity of speech is also important.
  • Teacher-student relationships (ES=0.72): building relationships with students implies agency, efficacy, respect by the teacher for what the student brings to the class (from home, culture, peers) and allowing the experiences of the child to be recognised in the classroom.
  • Professional development (ES=0.62): four types of instruction found to be most effective on teacher knowledge and behaviour were: observation of actual classroom methods; microteaching; video/audio feedback; and pratice. Lowest effects were from discussion; lectures, games/simulations and guided field trips. Mixed level groups showed higher effect sizes. Timperley et al found seven themes in effective teacher professional learning: it occurred over an extended period of time; involvement of external experts was important; it was important to engage the teachers for longer enough to deepen their knowledge and extend their skills; best outcomes came when the tachers' prevailing discourse and conceptions about learning; involvemnt in a community of practice was necessary but not sufficient; senior leadership needed to value and take part in the professional development; and funding, release time and whether it was voluntary or compulsory did not relate to student success.
  • Labelling students (ES=0.61): labelling is often self-fulfilling, and labelling students with 'fixed mindset' labels (like intelligent, high ability) leads to less resilience and overall achievement than labelling students with 'growth mindset' labels like 'hard working'.??
  • Expectations (ES=0.43): teacher expectations about student achievement are often self-fulfilling. Having high expectations of students often leads to their achieving highly. Interestingly 'attractive' people are perceived as more intelligently competent than their less attractive peers.??
  • Quality of teaching (ES=0.44): i) teachers challenging students, ii) having high expectations, iii) monitoring and evaluating and iv) teaching the love, language and details of the subject.
  • Teacher subject-matter knowledge (ES=0.09): The only meta-analysis on the topic… found a very low effect size of d=0.12 between knowing mathematics and student outcomes.

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