© 2014 St Mary’s RC High School
We are constantly trying to drive up standards of teaching and learning with new approaches, preferably those with a strong evidence base. But is ‘What Works?’ the right question? Should we really be asking ‘How do good teachers get better?’
In teaching and learning, we are increasingly concerned with improving students’
attainment through focused interventions and it is becoming the responsibility of
individual teachers, subject leaders or teaching and learning coordinators to select
the best intervention for their students from a dazzling array of options. But how
and where to start? How can teachers make informed choices? One important tool at
our disposal is meta-
• ‘We need to make relative statements about what impacts on student work.
• We need estimates of magnitude as well as statistical significance – it is not good enough to say that this works because lots of people use it etc, but that this works because of the magnitude of impact.
• We need to be building a model based on these relative magnitudes of effects.’ (Hattie, 2003)
The above passage was by by Elaine Hall, senior researcher in the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching at Newcastle University. You can read more in her article, ‘Teaching and Learning. What really works?’
If you are new to ‘visible learning’, the videos make a good staring point. I have included a range of ‘powerpoints’ that link to the videos and are very useful as aids to discussions with teachers and educators.
There are a range of other resources, some relating to St Mary’s which you may find interesting. To understand this work, you need to grasp the meaning of ‘effect size’ and how it is calculated and to know what is meant by ‘meta analysis’.
Visible learning is a must for the committed teacher. There is so much to learn.