It was a Monday morning. I had spent all weekend preparing for the observation and interview I had just stepped out of. I had got the job but the interview had totally stumped me. Encouragingly, the head teacher had tried to prompt me. ” Progress, visible learning…John Hattie.. You know the Australian”. I felt like a deer in headlights but smiled and said some sort of semi-reasonable answer so we could move on but it left me thinking “Who the heck is John Hattie and why on earth don’t I know him?” My only recollection was “Hattie and the fox” which I am sure was not what he was talking about.
I took a sabbatical from work in Sydney to try and explore what makes the difference in education by planting myself in a different educational institution but on my own shores, John Hattie was combining 15 years of research, ranking the influences of what made the difference in education, having the interviews with Finish educators and presenting what the successful methods were. All through a movement called Visible Learning.
Visible learning at first sounds like more jargon- but if you can get past the home page and Hattie’s confrontational style a treasure box can be found. Their promise to answer ‘What works best for learning?’ doesn’t disappoint. Some things we do already but the reinforcement that, yes our research says the same is a well needed encouragement. In other elements, I know I am very much at the start of this journey trialling the visible learning methods and I know a lot of my own mindsets need adjusting.