Part III will, I hope, cover the remaining parts of what Hattie might have as a great learning plan.
This is part III. It might be worth reading parts I and II before reading this.
Pupils use peer feedback during the activity
This one is interesting. Clearly we can learn from other learners. How did you get that answer, mate? We have all asked someone who seems to be getting on better than we are how to do something. It is clearly not the same as copying and cheating but it is about a different perspective. Insights that others have gained can be legitimately shared.
For students to gain from such shared processes they need to be focused on understanding the learning rather than too strongly focused on the end answer. This is a cultural thing and will need to have had time spent developing this attitude in our learners.
Perhaps we also need to train other pupils so that they can best support their peers. What might that training look like? How would we get a student who knows to reveal what another needs to learn rather than just give the answer each time? Or is it fine for them to just give the answer? Hattie says if a child is struggling with how to do a maths problem we should just give them the answer so they can the focus on the process of solving. Perhaps, if we assess by making the learning (process) visible, children will learn that they don’t get credit for answers alone. They have to show us the process they used.
Lots to think about, it seems.
Teacher feedback to pupils while they are attempting the activity
Kind of obvious, this one. Carol Dweck tells us to do the feedback in a growth mindset way. Praise the process and the things children have direct control of rather than ability or cleverness. To be effective the feedback needs to be specific and timely. As close as possible to the activity, in time.
The activity also needs to be appropriately challenging. Hattie points out that receiving feedback on a simple task, 1+1 = ?, is pointless. You only learn, he says, from feedback on truly challenging tasks.
Teacher gains feedback from how well they are succeeding. Feedback TO the teacher is very high on Hattie’s list.
When you stop to look at a child’s work you need to be asking yourself two questions. How well are they, the children, doing? And how well have you done, as a teacher, in teaching them?
You are using their activity as an experiment to test how well you have done your teacher job. The idea of a teacher as an evaluator is placed high on Hattie’s list of very desirable teacher qualities. To do this effectively the teacher will have to plan for activities that make the learning visible and adopt a researcher based mindset. Looking for evidence to show how well that which is to be learned has, actually, been taught.
Pupils practice/do the activity, taking account of the feedback
Pupils need to do the activity for real. To actually be challenged by the complexity of the real task and to use the feedback of peers and the teacher that has already been gained. I think one would have to be careful to ensure that this part really did lead to more learning. It will not be good enough to repeat the preparation work done earlier. I think the relationship between this part and the earlier pupil work will be dependent on the precise learning to be achieved.
Pupils seek feedback on their performance
The challenging word, here, for teachers is to have developed a culture where seeking feedback is the norm. We can always expect teachers to give feedback but for learners to actively seek feedback will be new in many classrooms. Perhaps we need to identify the exciting bits of the learning where learners would really want to know how they had done and what to improve. That would truly be an outstanding learning culture.
Pupils are eager to do the activity again
“Please Sir, may I do those difficult sums again?”
Does not seem too likely or too productive. But, “Please Sir may I do more hard sums”, would be great. How would we have to create learning experiences so that was an outcome?
I wonder what a learning planning document would look like if it were following the Hattie model?