If there were such a thing as an education ‘All-Star Team’ Professor John Hattie would be the captain. Over the past 28 years, he has published a dozen books, mostly on a theory he calls Visible Learning. His life's work boils down to one proposition: to improve schools, you need to draw on the best evidence available.
As a researcher, Hattie does not conduct his own studies. Instead, he synthesises the findings of many meta-analyses – ranging from parental involvement and longer school days to class size and socioeconomic status – and ranks them in order of effect size on student improvement.
The average effect across all the studies he has analysed (covering a combined 250 million students around the world) is 0.4 standard deviations. This average translates, roughly, to the amount of progress a student can be expected to make in one year of school. The implications of Hattie’s research is that educational reforms should concentrate on interventions with proven effects that fall above that line.
Hattie’s work is not without its critics, many of whom take issue with his synthesis approach. Nonetheless, he continues to have significant influence on educational policy and practice around the globe. Earlier this month, in the context of COVID-19, Hattie published an article titled Visible Learning Effect Sizes When Schools Are Closed: What Matters and What Does Not. In the article, he mentioned a few things that parents might find quite helpful right now. He writes:
'Does it matter that students are not in the physical place called school?
No. It is not the time in class, but what teachers do in the time they have, that matters.
What’s the effect of the home?
The climate of the home for learning matters. Key factors include parental involvement (.43), family communication quality (.56), and parental expectations (.70). [Thus] high expectations and high levels of communication have significant effect.
What about remote schooling?
The effect of distance learning is small (.14) but that does not mean it is NOT effective—it means it does not matter whether teachers undertake teaching in situ or from a distance over the internet. What teachers do matters, not the medium of doing it. [In this situation] technology is the just means and starting point, not the core, of teaching. [What is important] is the decisions teachers make while students are learning, as they listen to them think aloud, as they give them alternate strategies and help them work with others to jointly advance learning.’
As the first week of Term 2 draws to a close, I am so very proud of the way our teachers have engaged students in effective learning. Teachers have not set ‘busy’ work or ‘infotainment’. They have created learning activities that are relative to where students are at, and where they need to go next in order to advance their learning. Teachers have also created many opportunities for social interaction - for students to work, share, interact, and learn with and from each other so that learning is an empowering and social activity despite the distance.
Thank you for your continued support of the iLoveGLennieSchooling concept. I look forward to hearing about student and teacher experiences in Week 2!
Year 12 2020 External Assessment Timetable
On the last day of Term 1, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) publicly released the external assessment timetable for Term 4 2020.
Although Year 12 students and their parents are the ones predominantly interested in this timetable, other parents may find the schedule interesting in terms of what the examination landscape will look like for their daughter/s in the years ahead.
Please find a link to the 2020 External Assessment Timetable here.
The external assessments will be held annually in Term 4, starting in 2020. This year, the examination block will be held from Monday, 26 October to Tuesday, 17 November.
The 2020 external assessment timetable has been designed to:
Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Deputy Principal - Head of Curriculum