Can Gove learn from Hattie? Can we use his research to improve education across the world?


Johncan deliver training or offer consultancy in your school either in the UK or overseas at competitive prices

Why send a teacher on a course when the trainer can come to you?

John can source INSET trainers and consultantsfor your school at very competitive prices. Get in touch: jmedlicott@hotmail.com


Hattie says ‘effect sizes’ are the best way of answering the question ‘what has the greatest influence on student learning?’. An effect-size of 1.0 is typically associated with: 
• advancing learners’ achievement by one year, or improving the rate of learning by 50%
• a correlation between some variable (e.g., amount of homework) and achievement of approximately .50 
• A two grade leap in GCSE, e.g. from a C to an A grade
Below is Hattie’s table of effect sizes.
Influence
Effect Size
Source of Influence
Feedback
1.13
Teacher
Student’s prior cognitive ability
1.04
Student
Instructional quality
1.00
Teacher
Direct instruction
.82
Teacher
Acceleration
.72
Student
Remediation/feedback
.65
Teacher
Student’s disposition to learn
.61
Student
Class environment
.56
Teacher
Challenge of Goals
.52
Teacher
Peer tutoring
.50
Teacher
Mastery learning
.50
Teacher
Homework
.43
Teacher
Teacher Style
.42
Teacher
Questioning
.41
Teacher
Peer effects
.38
Peers
Advance organisers
.37
Teacher
Simulation & games
.34
Teacher
Computer-assisted instruction
.31
Teacher
Testing
.30
Teacher
Instructional media
.30
Teacher
Affective attributes of students
.24
Student
Physical attributes of students
.21
Student
Programmed instruction
.18
Teacher
Audio-visual aids
.16
Teacher
Individualisation
.14
Teacher
Finances/money
.12
School
Behavioural objectives
.12
Teacher
Team teaching
.06
Teacher
Physical attributes (e.g., class size)
-.05
School
Terms used in the table 
• An effect size of 0.5 is equivalent to a one grade leap at GCSE
• An effect size of 1.0 is equivalent to a two grade leap at GCSE 
• ‘Number of effects is the number of effect sizes from well-designed studies that have been averaged to produce the average effect size. 
• An effect size above 0.4 is above average for educational research 

This work supports the initial findings of a study by academics at Salford University which showed a strong correlation between the built environment where teaching takes place and test results in reading, writing and maths. Lighting, circulation, acoustics, individuality and colour were revealed to affect pupils’ progress in the year-long study of achievement by 751 children in seven primary schools in Blackpool. It found eight out of 10 environmental factors displayed significant correlations with the pupils’ performance and the report’s authors concluded: “This clear evidence of the significant impact of the built environment on pupils’ learning progression highlights the importance of this aspect for policymakers, designers and users.”
But Gove has dismissed the significance of the findings. A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “There is no convincing evidence that spending enormous sums of money on school buildings leads to increased attainment”.

Clearly the most significant factor is Feedback, so the DFE may be on safe ground. If we look at the quality of teaching the learning will improve. Hattie has made clear that ‘feedback’ includes telling students what they have done well (positive reinforcement), and what they need to do to improve (corrective work, targets etc), but it also includes clarifying goals. This means that giving students assessment criteria for example would be included in ‘feedback’.
As well as feedback on the task Hattie believes that students can get feedback on the processes they have used to complete the task, and on their ability to self-regulate their own learning. All these have the capacity to increase achievement. Feedback on the ‘self’ such as ‘well done you are good at this’ is not helpful. The feedback must be informative rather than evaluative. This kind of feedback is now an expectation in good and outstanding lessons as part of the new OFSTED framework in the UK which I feel is rather reassuring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.