Sunday, February 25, 2018

Food for Thought 11 Questions to Prof. Hattie from teachers

Dear all, Here is a good continuation from last week’s Food for Thought as provided by Suzanne who shared this link to the work of Hattie. You may prefer to view on the Food for Thought Blog where all the links to the videos are with the questions are complete.  Last week’s Food for Thought provoked several lines of thinking about pedagogy and in particular inquiry and flipped instruction. I thought that this weeks would be useful for you to flick through the 11 teacher questions and see if any are of interest to you. Hattie’s answer are short and only a couple of minutes in length each time. Just in case you need a refresher or aren’t clear about Hattie and Effect size here is a short post on the topic.“The research of John Hattie created great interest in 2009 when he published Visible Learning. In the book, he compares the statistical measure of “effect size” to the impact of a variety of influences on students’ achievement such as class size, holidays, feedback, and learning strategies.
Hattie’s study was designed as a “meta-meta-study” that collects, compares, and analyzes the findings of nearly 50,000 previous studies in education and brings the data together in a way that is seemingly comprehensible. In 2012, Hattie published a follow-up, Visible Learning For Teachers, which concentrated on the underlying story behind the data and provided many concrete and hands-on examples in the classroom. (In many countries, Hattie’s findings have become an important part of a teacher’s professional development and guides districts in their prioritization of many initiatives.)”

11 Questions to Professor John Hattie, asked by teachers and school leaders

Are you a teacher and surprised by some of the evidence found in the Visible Learning research? Wouldn’t it be great to discuss your questions directly with Professor Hattie? In 2016, Corwin, a partner of John Hattie’s professional development program Visible Learning Plus, has organized an online Q&A.  (Corwin has also published Visible Learning for Literacy, the latest addition to John Hattie’s VL series). Here are the questions that teachers and school leaders submitted to Professor John Hattie. We provide an excerpt of each answer as a quick take-away. But you should definitely take the time to listen to the full answers. And read the the books.

1. Why does inquiry-based learning only have an effect size of 0.31 when it is an approach to learning that seems to engage students and teachers so readily in the process of learning?

—Question submitted by a school improvement resource team leader from Canada
Professor John Hattie: “It turns out that if you are learning surface-level information, the content, as contrasted with deep learning which is the relationships between the content, then problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning is pretty useless. But if you don’t teach the surface and the content, you’ve got nothing to inquire about. […] The reason it comes out very low on the chart is because most teachers introduce it far too early.”

2. Why are we striving for an “assessment-capable learner” and not a “self-regulated learner”?

—Question submitted by a Principal from Southern California
Professor John Hattie: “If we teach the students how to evaluate their own learning, that’s what the key of formative assessment is. And of course, if you’re going to teach the students that, the teachers have to know it to teach the students that. So you get this double virtuous circle without all that language that goes with formative vs. summative.”

3. What are the three most important things I can do in my classes to improve learning?

—Question submitted by a Teacher leader from Texas
Professor John Hattie: “Know thy impact!” Having an understanding…
  • what impact means,
  • about the magnitude, how big the impact you want,
  • about the equity question, whether all kids get that impact.”

4. What methods have been successfully used to effect a paradigm shift at the campus and district level?

—Question submitted by a Curriculum instructional specialist from Texas
Professor John Hattie: “It’s about how we think about what we do. Do we have a mind frame that we actually can collectively make a difference to these kids?”

5. Is there a correlation between calculating effect size and percentile rating? If so, how do you compare scores and effect size?

—Question by Ainsley Rose, Corwin Author and Certified Visible Learning PlusTrainer
Professor John Hattie: “Yes, there is a way to do it. Unfortunately, you have to use something that is not easy and not obvious. But I’d express a lot of caution. Percentiles have some major problems. The whole point of percentiles is to compare students to other students. And yes, there is a place for that, I suppose, but what I’m much more interested in with the effect size notion is the learning for each individual student, and when you look at the averages of the effect size, you’ve in sense got a comparison.”

6. What is the effect size for the cultural competence of the teacher?

—Question submitted by an education consultant from Seattle, WA
Professor John Hattie: “Teachers, they do understand what kids bring to the classroom. Certainly the effect size of that is extremely high. [… ] It’s how the kids think: Are these kids prepared to take challenges? Are they prepared to be risk takers? Do they study learning because they want to perform well in front of their peers. Or do they do it because they want to reinvest in learning and really want to master what they do. These are critical dimensions to make connections with these kids, to help them on this learning journey.”

7. How can we prioritize which influences to focus on during the school year?

—Question submitted by a Principal from Michigan
Professor John Hattie: “Having a collective understanding of the actual problems we need to work on is critical. But at all times, we need to be very careful not to make changes to things that are really working. So that’s where the prioritization starts. Then, what I’d love schools and districts to do is to map that with what are the high-probability effects from the research side of things […] and from that then we do our interventions.”

8. How does communicating the learning target impact student learning?

—Question submitted by an Instructional coach from Arizona
Professor John Hattie:  “You need learning intentions and success criteria. It’s those two things that go together. It is giving the kids a sense of what is the purpose of what we are learning here today. […] Like think of kids playing video games. They know what it means to be successful: Get to the next level. And they’re prepared to invest an incredible number of hours to get to that next level. And they get very many cues and understandings of what that next level is.”

9. Why does ability grouping or tracking have a negative effect size?

—Question submitted by a Supervisor of math and science from New Jersey
Professor John Hattie:  “It has a very close to zero effect size. And in many ways that means it doesn’t matter whether you track or you don’t track. […] But the biggest problem with tracking – by a million miles – is the equity issue. For instance if you look at this country here. There is a higher probability for African Americans and Hispanics being in the lower track groups. How can you possibly defend that apartheid in that schools?!”

10. What RTI models did you investigate? What critical attributes were included in the models that you looked at?

—Question submitted by an Assessment coordinator from Iowa
Professor John Hattie: “I’m not weighted to one particular way of implementing the RTI model. What I like about the RTI model again it comes back to how we think. The RTI is always looking at the Response – To – Intervention. And then making adaptations and changes in light of that. And that’s exactly what the Visible Learning notions are.”

11. How does recess, art and music impact student achievement?

–Question submitted by a Principal from Michigan
Professor John Hattie: “Many years ago when I was a real teacher I was a music teacher. And so this question is very passionate to me. The answer is it’s very very small but I wished it was zero. Because understanding music is worthwhile in itself. Why do we have to justify a subject just because it relates to a narrow excellence of teaching maths, literacy and numeracy? […] Recess, art and music are worthwhile things! Kids need to have multiple ways of learning. I think the most important outcome of our schooling is kids who want to reinvest in learning. Not reinvest in a narrow excellence. There are multiple ways to be excellent in schools.”

Monday, February 19, 2018

Food for Thought different style of sharing

Student using the BrainExplorer

This article is from Stanford Education Department and is about students doing hands on activities before reading and videos on a topic. It challenges the idea of the flipped classroom and encourages more inquiry.

"We are showing that exploration, inquiry and problem solving are not just 'nice to have' things in classrooms," said Blikstein. "They are powerful learning mechanisms that increase performance by every measure we have."  Pea explained that these results indicate the value for learning of first engaging one's prior knowledge and intuitions in investigating problems in a learning domain – before being presented with abstracted knowledge. Having first explored how one believes a system works creates a knowledge-building relevance to the text or video that is then presented, he said.

What I like about this article is that it challenges Hattie’s mega data research which implies a low learning effect for inquiry if the students haven’t been given direct instruction ahead of the inquiry activity.

Food for Thought: The importance of Social and Emotional Learning

Dear all,

This week's Food for Thought focuses on social and emotional aspects of life and education. I thought that you might find these reflective interviews with centenarians interesting as they provide an insightful view of what is valuable to us as human beings. Something that will become more and more important with the arrival of A1. There are certainly some common themes.

I'd like to follow this video with an article from Mindshift about setting school culture with social and emotional learning routines.
"Over the past several decades public education has shifted to focus on literacy and math learning, largely due to high stakes tests measuring those two elements of school. But educators have long known that while reading, writing and math are important to academic success, they are far from the only qualities students need to go forth and lead productive lives.
In recent years, the pendulum of education trends have swung back to emphasize the importance of relationships to learning. Schools are using social and emotional learning curricula to help students develop interpersonal skills and learn ways to solve problems peacefully. But there's still debate around which social and emotional skills — such as empathy, executive functioning or persistence — are the most important to teach and some educators feel unprepared to take on a role that seems more like parenting.
In a video series called "Schools That Work," Edutopia offers some examples of social and emotional learning routines that successful schools use. At Highlander Charter School in Rhode Island, elementary school students talk about the importance of morning meeting to their day.

"It puts me in a focused and good mood," said Monica, a third grader at the school. Every morning during the 15-minute meeting, students greet each other, have sharing time, do a quick movement activity and review the schedule for the day. Educators say this routine is an invaluable way to help students transition from home to school; it helps build a community where students feel cared for, known and ready to learn.
"I like it when people share because we get to know them a little better," said first grader Dianelys. Educators at this school said carving out this time every day creates a culture in which students respect each other and their teacher."

Video about morning meetings which is part of the responsive classroom model used in many US Primary Classrooms. Watching this 4 minute video certainly demonstrates how this sort of activity can develop social and emotional links between students and create a culture of care providing a structured start to the day and of course the agenda could be managed to include mindfulness.

SEL in High School

"While elementary school may seem like the perfect place to learn social and emotional skills, often by high school the focus of educators and parents has turned to academics. But adolescence is a crucial time for young people to know an adult cares about them and can serve as a mentor. At Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City, California, students take a "Habits, Community, and Culture" class devoted to improving their emotional intelligence and the skills that will help them cope with stress, setbacks and crises of confidence that are typical in high school. Their teacher, Aukeem Ballard, wants each teen to feel seen, heard and known."

This sentiment is very important for our Culture of Care at ISHCMC

"So my primary defense, is to tell a kid, and mean it, that I love you. I see in you all the years of pain that come with you. I will hold space for you every single time and I refuse to be a bystander in your life. I refuse to see you as a dot or a data point. I see you. The mentors I had along the way that said, and it seems impossible now, but I'm going to help you remove as many barriers as I can, and I'm going to step away. I'm going to let you do the great work that I already see inside you. And I hope I can get out of my kids way more, that's my hope."

Chuc Mung Nam Moi,

Be happy and Healthy,