A new report by John Hattie in 13 telling quotes: What Doesn’t Work in Education: The Politics of Distraction

There is a new free report (first of 2 actually) on what doesn’t work in education. You can download it here.

Instead of giving a summary, which is already in the report, I want to share some very interesting quotes from the report:

“All students deserve at least a year’s progress for a year’s input, no matter where they start (although those starting behind will need much more than a year’s progress if the gap is to be reduced). It is more an equity than an excellence problem.”

“It is my view that we educators cannot do much to fix poverty. Instead, we can offer the best chances to help students, no matter what their home situation is. Indeed, one of the reasons governments make schooling compulsory is that it offers all students a chance to succeed – and there are many teachers and schools that make important differences to the lives of children from poverty.”

“It’s fascinating that often the same people who think public schools are wasting money are happy to spend lots of money on private schools for their own children.”

“One of the major distractions to truly making a difference is the quest for better infrastructure: if only we had more effective curricula, more rigorous standards, more tests and more alternative-shaped buildings … or so the argument goes.”

“You cannot use deeper-thinking skills unless you have something to think about.”

On inquiry-based learning; individualised instruction; matching teaching to styles of thinking; problem-based learning; whole-language learning and student control over learning: “It is not that they are not worthwhile programmes. The problem is that too often they are implemented in a way that does not develop surface understanding first.”

On early education: “Before pouring in more money, we need a robust discussion about what learning means in the 0–5 age range – and especially at 0–3 when the most critical bases are set for language, communication, listening and thinking. I do not mean discussion about reading and times tables but about the many cognitive skills that develop in these early years: rhyme, language, seriation and so on – that are precursors to later reading and numeracy.”

“…there is little evidence that when teaching is matched to style there is enhanced learning. Yes, teachers should use various methods of teaching, and if one method does not work they should change to another, but there is no support for classifying students by learning style and then matching the teaching to that style.”

“There is a remarkable hunger to create charter schools, for-profit schools, lighthouse schools, free schools, academies, public–private schools – anything other than a public school. But, given that the variance in student achievement between schools is small relative to variance within schools, it is folly to believe that a solution lies in different forms of schools.”

“…the debate about school autonomy misses two major issues. First, the greater the amount of local autonomy, the more likely it is that schools become unequal: the better schools tend to become better, and the not-so-good schools tend to become worse.”

“…supportive and great systems are needed to support and nurture great leaders. But more often the debate is about improving teacher education, introducing performance pay and other such distractions.”

“When we look at the development of teacher expertise, the greatest learning is not from teacher-education programmes but from the first year of full-time classroom teaching (the next is from the second year). After this, the increase in the development of expertise fades and initial teacher education has little or no effect. There is a well-known phenomenon called ‘transition shock’ which is what new teachers discover when they are ‘released’ into their first year in the classroom. The class is buzzing, busy and decision-laden, and most new teachers say they were not well prepared for the harsh reality of the classroom. ‘Lack of preparation shock’ would probably be a better label.”

“We have been hearing that ‘the technology revolution is coming’ for the past thirty years or more and how the advent of desktop computers, iPads, smartphones, the Cloud and so on will radically change classrooms. ”



3 thoughts on “A new report by John Hattie in 13 telling quotes: What Doesn’t Work in Education: The Politics of Distraction

  1. Reblogged this on X, Y of Einstein? and commented:

    Kreeg de voorbije dagen een pak nieuwe lezers bij op deze blog, welkom! Ik herblog dit bericht even van mijn Engelstalige blog om 2 redenen: om op het bestaan er van te wijzen enerzijds, anderzijds omdat het een wel zeer relevant nieuw rapport van John Hattie is.

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