Tag Archives: research

John Hattie – nuggets of wisdom from ‘8 Mind Frames’

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This morning I read an interview  with internationally acclaimed educator and researcher Dr. John Hattie, whose influential book
Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement has been recognized as a landmark in educational research.

In Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning, Hattie presents eight ‘mind frames’ or ways of thinking that together must underpin every action and decision in schools and systems. He argues that teachers who develop these mind frames will have major impacts on student learning.

As I read the article, a few bits stood out to me, perhaps because of where I am on the continuum of learning about learning. teaching, feedback, assessment.  I want to share those with you. They are all from the article found at In Conversation with John Hattie

The purpose of schools is to help students exceed their potential and do more than they thought they could do.

This challenges my thinking of encouraging students to be the best they can be. Dr Hattie says if we do this, it is not enough. We should be encouraging students to be better than they think they can be!

 

Authors  City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel (2009) in Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning  and Roberts in  Instructional Rounds in Action,  (2012) have favorite questions to ask the students to find out where they are up to in terms of understanding. I have printed these out to remind myself of them.

• What are you learning? What are you working on?
• What do you do if you don’t know the answer or you’re stuck?
• How will you know when you’re finished?
• How will you know if what you’ve done is good quality?

 

Lastly, because we are doing what is called Formative practice at school that involves us in teams of 3 or 4 observing each other’s classes once a term, the following rang a bell. I have, up till now, focused on the teacher and observing and commenting on what they did, rather than asking the students where they were up to, what were they learning.

Another example that comes to mind is what usually happens when we observe other teachers in their classrooms – the focus is on the teacher. Then what follows more often than not is that we give them feedback about what they did well and what they could have done differently. What we should do instead is spend our time observing two or three students in the classroom and find out what they’re learning and what they’re responding to. The conversation with the teacher afterwards will be dramatically different.

 

Here is a youtube that explains, succinctly, what the 8 mind frames of Hattie are.

 

 

 

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Positive Psychology

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This first week back at school for 2014 has been full of meetings. One of these stands out …..

Lea Waters

Associate Professor Lea Waters, a psychologist from Melbourne Uni., , who talked about positive psychology – what it was, how it can positively effect student’s and teacher’s learning as shown by research studies, and some examples of how to start off the school year putting some of this into practice.

I loved the Thankful Dance -which has a whole uplifting back story.

Another thing I learned was about a thing called ‘The Negative Bias’ which is everyone’s subconscious way of looking out for problems, dangers, negative outcomes (*Negative Bias is the instinctive behaviour of paying more attention to negatives rather than positives, for example, a student focusing only on one low grade in amongst several other excellent grades. quoted from a Newington College article where Waters gave a lecture). It made me realise that this way of looking at situations is hard wired into us but what we need to do is to counter this negativity with als paying equal attention to the positives, for example, what is there to be grateful for in this situation? Encouraging children to articulate little and big things in their lives brings this to our attention.

Another school Lea is involved with has used this story- the Thankful Coat – to kick start the routine of ,at the end of every kinder day, the children all sit in a circle and 3 children get a chance to put the Thankful Coat on and tell everyone 1 thing they are thankful for that day. The trick is now to only have 3 children – more usually want to share.

Other practical examples Lea shared were gratitude walls, which she has seen used in primary, secondary classrooms as well as staffrooms to great effect. It reminds us all and re-focuses attention on what is going right and what is amazing and beautiful around us.

Lastly, it reminded me of the importance of nurturing relationships with our students – it’s not just warm and fuzzy to do this but has measurable benefits on their sense of well-being and academic success.

A great way to start the 2014 school year!!