Educational leadership & learning

If you have not had a chance to read the new book by John Hattie and David Yates – there are a great deal of good points and interesting research.Below are some quotes that I found interesting, I hope that you may find some of them interesting to.

Hattie and Yates – Visible Learning and The Science of How we Learn

  • We are motivated by knowledge gaps but not by knowledge chasms
  • Feedback matters a lot. It should always focus on next steps.
  • Knowing what to do matters more than knowing what your level is.
  • Understanding what to do is greatly helped by worked examples which are analysed.
  • Great feedback provides a map – it is a mode of processing but also motivating and ensuring that a knowledge gap is bridgeable and does now become a chasm.
  • Feedback is as much about reflecting on your own effectiveness as a teacher as it is about pupil learning.
  • It is far better to think of the teacher as an agent of change
  • A coach will model good practice, teach critical skills and crucially intervene to tweak student progress though a relay between observation and intervention. Rather than simply facilitating, the teacher-as-coach is an activator
  • Being a thinker requires an effort that moves us beyond our natural state.  It depends on being exposed to information and then being expertly guided to assimilating and using that information
  • For we cannot ‘educate’ children without building confidence, enticing them into being interested in that which is being taught and crucially, building strong, positive and healthy relationships
  • Teacher’s subject knowledge still needs to be secure, but not so secure that it creates an ‘empathy gap’ in which the teacher simply cannot understand why students might struggle
  • Expert teachers can empathise deeply with their students and maintain rich social relationships
  • Tactics like shouting, sarcasm and belittlement may secure superficial levels of student compliance but breed long term conflict – ‘compliance is not a strong educational goal’
  • Teachers can provide a working examples of positive child-adult relationships
  • Children need to feel that they are safe and can trust their teacher before their brains can be open to learning. Time spent in building these trusting environments is never wasted
  • It is important to know the children as individuals with histories, interests, names and personal goals
  • Teachers can build this trust by being open about their own learning as teachers – sharing reflective practice helps students to see how reflection is an important part of mastery
  • What we can do is provide the optimal conditions for academic learning time to be utilised; building in deliberate practice, reflection and feedback
  • The longer one spends on a topic, the deeper the learning – on more sophisticated tests which require thought, synthesis and analysis, the longer the time spent, the better
  • Research shows that teachers tend to talk for 75% of a lesson
  • In order to learn, children need to actively participating in the process
  • Active listening works best in conjunction with Socratic questioning
  • The teacher’s role is to ‘invite and induce’ children into learning

Expert teachers can explain even complex material well in 5-7 minutes. Clarity of explanation is key.

  • Developing automaticity can justify forms of rote learning – times tables, decoding etc, but it should be remembered that this is a surface learning goal. Without it, however, it is harder to build and develop deeper learning.
  • ‘If’ is a big word in learning
  • Any kind of effective teaching can only take place if attention is captured.
  • Expert teachers ignore irrelevant details but focus on the most important things happening in the classroom
  • Expert teachers diagnose learners’ needs and offer detailed and appropriate feedback.
  • Expert teachers allow students to think about a problem before offering a solution.
  • Expert teachers set worthwhile challenges quickly moving students on from surface to deep learning.
  • Expert teachers keep momentum flowing while being able to improvise and adapt on the spot.
  • They engage, challenge and intrigue students without boring or overwhelming them.
  • They are passionate about their work.
  • Engagement and challenge are the key to classroom and behaviour management.

‘High quality teaching cannot be seen as a mechanical exercise. Instead, it hinges on developing a relationship with a group of young human beings who have come to trust and respect the goals their teacher has set for them.’

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