Friday, June 26, 2015

A myth has just been shattered, upon the four winds scattered (Joan Baez)

Myths abound in education.

Here are my favourite five as outed by Nu Zild's very own John Hattie!!

1 Smaller class sizes improve student learning

Hattie's meta analysis of the research shows smaller class size only marginally affects student achievement because teaching practices rarely change when teachers move from larger to smaller classes. I've blogged about this before so...yeah - a class of three doesn't necessarily improve results!

2 Homework matters

To be effective, homework should be four things: brief, linked to the in-class lesson, monitored by the teacher, and not include new learning that disadvantages those who most need a teacher present. When is it so? Thass right - hardly ever!

Teachers need to soften critical feedback for students with praise.

Coupling critical feedback with praise negates the impact the feedback has on improving student learning. One of my students in Year 13 says I should use the compliment sandwich - compliment/ critical feedback/ compliment. BALONEY!

Content knowledge alone is enough.

Some believe that teachers in specialist subjects have a mortgage on content knowledge but Hattie says, "Expert teachers organize and use their content knowledge to make meaningful connections among topics and concepts by using students’ prior knowledge and adapting lessons to meet students’ needs".

Ability grouping can be effective.

While some believe grouping students by ability allows teachers to customize learning to students’ learning pace, Hattie says that in reality the opposite is true—it has a barely discernible impact on student achievement.

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