In his new June 2015 report (‘What Works Best in Education: the Politics of Collaborative Expertise’) Professor John Hattie asks ‘How do we increase the expertise of all teachers?’
IRIS Connect have dissected the paper on their blog and quite nicely condensed eight of the key tasks that Hattie believes need to be established in order to achieve conditions to nurture the collaborative expertise of teachers within a school.
The eight key ideas are:
1. Shift the narrative to collaborative expertise and student progression.
Hattie says, “re-framing the conversation away from its current focus on standards and achievement and towards progress is the first step. As well as recognising that everyone, from teachers and school leaders to parents and policy makers, should be working together towards ensuring every child receives at least one year’s worth of progress for one year’s input”.
2. Agree on what a year’s progress looks like across all subjects, schools and system levels.
Hattie says, “What a year’s progress looks like needs to be debated and agreed upon among educators. This will reduce variability in teachers’ understanding of challenge and progression for students and truly accelerate progress.”
3. Expect a year’s worth of progress by raising expectations that all students can achieve.
Hattie says, “Research proves that one of the greatest influences on learning is the expectations of students and teachers. When teachers have high expectations of their students, those students tend to be very successful in achieving their goals.”
4. Develop new assessment and evaluation tools to provide feedback to teachers.
Hattie says, “We need to find improved ways of helping students and teachers to better teaching and learning through assessment. Evaluation tools shouldn’t measure learning, they should help to shape it.”
5. Know the impact by making sure that all teachers take responsibility for the impact of everyone in the school on the progress of students.
Hattie says, “Schools need to become evaluators of impact and experts at interpreting the effects of teachers and teaching on all students.
Schools should create environments that enable excellent teaching and strong communication with a focus on making an impact, where teachers identify what success looks like and the magnitude of the impact before they start teaching.”
6. Ensure teachers have expertise in diagnosis, interventions and evaluation through teachers working together as evaluators though self-evaluation of their impact on their students.
Hattie says, “Teachers need to be experts at diagnosis, interventions and evaluation. They need to understand what each student already knows and where they need to go next, as well as what interventions to use to get them there and then how to evaluate the impact they have made.”
7. Stop ignoring what we know and scale up success by using the wealth of knowledge that exists in teacher communities
Hattie says, “We have an enormous wealth of knowledge already about how to address certain challenges that students face. Teachers should be encouraged to share and use the existing expertise that has been proven to work.”
8. Link autonomy to a year’s progress by studying teachers who are achieving a year of student progress and supporting teachers who aren’t
You can download the full report here and it makes interesting reading when you put it in the context of Scottish Education. I wonder how many teacher actually know what one year (or stage) of progress looks like within the context of the curriculum both in the BGE and Senior Phase?