#7: Stop Ignoring What We Know

Several years ago I read John Hattie’s Visible Learning and was really struck by the synthesis and the clarity of what I call his “impact meters.” He’s written two papers recently that I think are worth a read with very provocative titles:

What Doesn’t Work in Education: The Politics of Distraction  Visible Learning by John Hattie

What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise

The second article explains a concept he calls collaborative expertise. He says, “Putting all three of these together (teachers, leaders and system) is what he calls collaborative expertise.” It’s a remix of my lesson study blog and my blogs about collective development.

In his second paper he offers a great “task list” to help educators get started:

  1. Shift the narrative to collaborative expertise and student profession.
  2. Agree on what a year’s worth of progress looks like.
  3. Expect a year’s worth of progress.
  4. Develop new assessment and evaluation tools to give feedback to teachers.
  5. Know they impact.
  6. Ensure that teachers have expertise in diagnosis, intervention and evaluation.
  7. Stop ignoring what we know and scale up the success by using the wealth of knowledge in the teaching community.
  8. Link autonomy to a year’s worth of progress by studying teachers who are making a year’s worth of progress and supporting teachers who don’t.

It’s task #7 that I love the most and resonates with my own thinking and my current portfolio at the Foundation. He elegantly concludes and I concur:

“Too often collective action leads to forming groups such as professional learning communities or networks of schools, but the focus of these groups is rarely on evaluative evidence and thinking about what has been effective and even less on dependably relying on success and expertise and then privileging and sharing it.”