Two Top Ways to Increase Learning

Monthly Mojo for TeamTom Teachers

( words) minutes to read 

John Hattie was recently asked to describe the top three ways to improve learning in classrooms. He stopped at the top two, because as he says, it’s all you need to know.

The interesting part of his response is he didn’t mention a teaching method, any teaching strategies, or names of scripted programs.

Instead, he mentioned two core mindsets that improve learning. These mindsets are at the heart of visible learning (read about What Is Student Visible Learning?).

“Know thy impact! Having an understanding of what impact means, about the magnitude, how big the impact you want, about the equity question, whether all kids get that impact.”

Professor John Hattie

Know Your Impact

Impact is the amount of learning you create (not test scores, but learning: social, emotional, informational). That’s why teachers can’t be judged by test scores.

Impact is different than performance or the number of students passing.

Often we are judged as educators by the percentage of students passing. And while that’s important, it doesn’t show impact. Your impact is measured by growth, by changes, and by progress rates.

If your impact is less than your peers, you should consider making adjustments. If your impact is greater than that of your peers, you should consider sharing what you’re doing.

This allows others a chance to decide on changes they could make. This leads to the second way to increase learning. This is also the purpose behind common formative assessments (read here).

Share Your Impact

Sharing your impact is really a major part of being in a PLC. It’s not about just sharing the strategies you like to use. It’s not about just sharing materials or resources you like to use.

It is about sharing data that confirms your impact and accepting criticism, so you can improve you impact.

Again, impact is not passing rates. Impact is about measuring growth rates, which are more of an apple-to-apple comparison.

The second way to increase learning it’s probably going to be very difficult in many school cultures. The ability to share data and do it in a way that leads to critical discussions and honest feedback, is a very rare gift among teaching teams.

Here are a few resources to help you know and share your impact.

Further Reading

Here are great resources from the Visible Learning libraries.

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About the Author

TeamTom Education is dedicated to creating engaging teaching resources and strategies that make learning awesome!

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