Monday 6 November 2017 and John Hattie was going to be in Sheffield. It would be an opportunity to meet the man himself. Unfortunately (or perhaps not so unfortunately), I would be enjoying the sun in Lanzarote, but I wanted a colleague to benefit from the opportunity. A prize draw took place and the lucky winners were notified.
What follows are notes taken by Matt Cannon, Science teacher, and a colleague he met at the conference on the day. There will be some questions to reflect upon and notions to consider against your own practice. The hope is that it will challenge existing thinking and the questions might prove productive, alongside some supporting reading or resources, for a team meeting or similar.
The importance of Impact
How teachers teach is irrelevant. We should only care about the impact.
Be cautious about staff who say ‘I’m this kind of teacher’, as we can’t guarantee ‘that kind of learner.’
We are evaluators – How do I know that what I am doing is working? What am I comparing it to? What value/impact am I having? If it’s not working how do we provide reliable evidence and support to encourage staff to change?
We don’t engage children to learn. When children learn they become engaged.
Small vs Large Classes
When we look at staffing groups do we consider who is effective with large / small classes? Do the skills for effective delivery to large and small classes differ? Evidence shows that smaller classes teach more. What are teachers doing differently in smaller classes than larger classes?
Growth mindset ONLY has impact when students are in a position of struggle. Only then is it better than a fixed mindset. This is about student confidence, and resilience.
Time doesn’t matter (5 or 30 mins). The worst homework is a project as it’s ineffective and relies on parental engagement (still applicable to older or adult learners?). Homework to practice what they’ve already learned is good. Assessment of homework is vital for it to have impact on learning.
Instructional leadership approaches are more effective than transformational leadership.
Self-verbalisation, peer tutoring and peer influences are especially significant where deep learning is concerned. Against such high impact strategies, on average, teachers talk 87% of the time in class. (esp on deep learning)
Most questions asked in class, staff and students know the answer to and they require less than 1 second of thinking and therefore level of challenge is not high.
How many questions about the work do students ask that they don’t know the answer to? On average = 2.
Students will invest heavily in challenging goals (as long as they’re not too hard) if it’s engaging. Learning Objectives without success criteria are pointless. Learning Objectives should be linked closely to success criteria. Success criteria should be the same for all – it is just how individuals get there and the time taken to get there will differ. It’s important that the destination is the same. The other vital aspect of success criteria is that they’re centred around what learning will take place, rather than what products will be created.
These are important for a teacher judging their impact as it’s where we hear it articulated.
Learning and Failure
How do we get students to see that when they get things wrong they are moving in the right direction?
How do we allow children to fail?
This is not about how we deliver it but it’s about teachers better understanding the impact they have on their students. Building a coalition of trust and success around teachers is important.
Successful teachers see learning through the eyes of the student. Successful students see themselves as their own teachers. Students can do this at age 5 but lose the ability by the age of 8.
When students are faced with a problem we need to consider :
- How they can manage their emotional response
- How they find a starting point
- Students need to consider their approach – mathematical, drawing, guess and check
- Students need to remember their strategy
- Good teachers will apply that strategy to new problems
**When students find a successful process, how do we explicitly link the process to new problems?
What strategies do we deliberately teach our students?
- What do students do before / during / after when posed with a problem or task?
- How does this fit in teaching across subjects?
- How do we develop mindset in students where pupils actively seek feedback and set own success criteria?
- What is the link to aspiration?
- How do we capture students individual learning intention and feedback against that?
- Do staff model effective use of different strategies?
- Do staff ensure students have opportunities to use different strategies?
- Use instructional goals and feedback – not for students to monitor and plan their own learning – they need guidance.
- Do staff provide opportunities for self evaluation?
**3-5 years to change the culture of a school
Student Voice – Craig Parkinson
Treasure Hunt not witch hunt.
Trust and not accountability for what students say
Why do it?
- Evidence of impact
- Staff have to be prepared to fail (hear criticism)
- Feedback to staff needs to happen, be honest, supportive for change, impact monitored.
- How does student voice increase effectiveness of teaching and learning?
- What tools can we use to capture student voice(SV)?
- Is SV primarily to gather good impact? How effective is it for change? Do we triangulate SV with walkthroughs, obs…? What do we then do about it? Where does SV sit in Quality Assurance(QA)? Does it confirm / add to big picture or do we use it to guide the QA? Does SLT ask why certain students have been selected and what questions are being asked?
- Do students verbalise what they are doing or what they are learning?
- What is the language of learning we use as staff?
- Do we (SLT) discuss SV and then summarise this into 4 key actions points to feed back to staff?
What do you want to thank your teachers for?
What would you ask your teachers to change?
A shared understanding and ethos. Staff believe that through their collective actions they can positively influence outcomes for students.
1) My job is to cause learning. I change students.
Student control over learning has limited impact unless the teacher guides and acts as the control / expert.
Staff to take credit when progress is good – they caused that learning.
2) The role of expectations
I explicitly inform students what successful impact looks like from the onset.
Student expectations are more powerful than teacher expectations.
The teacher’s job is to check expectations and help children exceed their expectations.
3) I am an evaluator of my impact
Evaluation of impact of T&L – Who did I affect, about what, how much?
80% of what goes on in a classroom is unseen/unheard so make sure to evaluate the 20%
Every child deserves to make at least 1 year progress in 1 year.
4) Progress to proficiency
How do we get to top right? How do we stay in top right?
If you plotted your students on this chart, how could it help you to better support students?
Biggest issue for progress are those students who are above average but cruising!
5) Evaluative thinking
Not what teachers do, it’s how teachers think.
- Is self-aware
- Is a learner
- Can manage conflict through collaborative sense making
- Demonstrates social sensibility
- Collective efficacy
- Shared purpose to improve
- Problem solving
- Strength Based
Social sensitivity is crucial – opportunities to discuss learning not what is being taught; shared across departments and visiting other schools.
Need collective motivators – positive, credible feedback
How do we measure a year’s impact. What does it look like?
What are the early indicators that progress is not being made – these observations should lead to intervention
7) Teachers are to DIiE for
Do teachers have a common concept of progress?
8) School leaders
They construct a narrative around impact
They build trust
They move from ‘plans and good plans’ to ‘purposeful practice for all’
They ensure all are involved
They share joint ownership of all students and all successes as a result of the above actions and activity
Inspired and passionate teachers
Know the impact
Children just want to know, ‘Where to next?’