Archive for October 8th, 2014


Visible Learning

October 8, 2014

John Hattie’s Research

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 8.41.43 PMAlmost a year ago blogger Peter DeWitt wrote a post called Is Learning ‘Visible’ to Students?

In his post DeWitt references John Hattie’s research on ‘visible’ learning. Hattie is Professor of education and Director of Research at the University of Melbourne (Australia). Hattie has been criticized for his research which dives into what is and is not working in schools. Certainly a topic that, depending on your beliefs, most likely quickly puts you in favor or against the research.

Hattie’s research has over 1,000 meta-analysis which involved over a quarter billion students. That is certainly a lot of students but more importantly what is done with the information matters even more. I hear over and over what a challenge teaching has become because of the shifts in education. I look at proficiency-based education and know that in theory most educators believe that all students should graduate from our schools being proficient. Yes, challenging times but that is the nature of change as we transition in Maine to a proficiency-based high school graduation requirement.

I can’t help but think about Hattie’s research and how it supports the proficiency based requirement. Hattie defines visible learning as, “Making student learning visible to teachers, ensuring clear identification of the attributes that make a visible difference to student learning, and all in the school visibly knowing the impact that they have on the learning in the school.” There are many ways to know if students are learning but if it is visible to educators, won’t it also be recognizable to other stakeholders?

And, the shift comes when the students is in the center of their learning. Learning becomes active and not passive. And, this hits the nail on the head…

Hattie goes on to say that the visible aspect,

“Also refers to making teaching visible to the student, such that they learn to become their own teachers, which is the core attribute of lifelong learning or self-regulation, and of the love of learning that we so want students to value.” This doesn’t mean that students do not need their teachers. Quite the contrary…the relationship between student and teacher is highly important.

Reading the article through the proficiency based lens and student centered learning, might just give you some insight on the shift and how to adapt.

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