John Hattie’s new policy paper is a double issue about distractions and solutions. We blogged about the first book What Doesn’t Work in Education in an earlier post. Here are some quick take-aways from Hattie’s second book What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise.
Differences within your school are part of the solution
To put it simply: if you are a student in a developed country, your achievement probably depends much more on the classroom you go to than the school. But every student should expect at least a year’s worth of progress for a year’s worth of input. If within-school variability is part of the problem it can easily be turned into a starting point for a bigger solution: teachers make the difference! If teachers work together and if teachers, school leaders and policy makers collaborate the result will be a school system based on collaborative expertise. Hattie is aware of the challenges and complexity of this solution but defines eight clear, data-informed tasks on how to move forward to improve students’ achievement, no matter from where they (and you) are starting from.
Hattie’s task list to build collaborative expertise
- Task 1: Shift the narrative – Reframe the conversation to focus on progress
- Task 2: Secure agreement about what a year’s progress looks like – Debate and create a shared understanding of “progress”
- Task 3: Expect a year’s worth of progress – Expectations are one of the greatest influences on learning and achievement
- Task 4: Develop tools to provide feedback to teachers – Evaluation tools should shape learning rather than simply measure it.
- Task 5: Know thy impact – Evaluate the impact on their students. Define success before teaching. Include the students’ voice.
- Task 6: Ensure teachers have expertise in diagnosis, intervention, evaluation – Because most interventions with the biggest impact relate back to the teacher.
- Task 7: Stop ignoring what we know and scale up success – Use existing approaches and ideas that have already been proven to be successful with students.
- Task 8: Link autonomy to a year’s progress – Give successful teachers autonomy – which they have earned. And share their expertise.
Collaborative expertise in practice
- Download John Hattie (2015): What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson at www.pearson.com/hattie/solutions.html