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Auckland University Professor John Hattie has recently authored a study, based on research into 83 million students, studying effective teachers around the world and has come up with some reassuring results for creative teachers. It's all about trusting relationships and 'oodles of feedback' . Note - it is not about national testing, our government's highly unoriginal plan.
Abstract The aim of this review is to identify features of study skills interventions that are likely to lead to success. Via a meta-analysis we examine 51 studies in which interventions aimed to enhance student learning by improving student use of either one or a combination of learning or study skills. Such interventions typically focused on task-related skills, self-management of learning, or affective components such as motivation and self-concept. Using the SOLO model ( Biggs & Collis, 1982 ), we categorized the interventions (a) into four hierarchical levels of structural complexity and (b) as either near or far in terms of transfer.
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These notes were originally prepared for fellow-tutors as a first contribution to a debate, and never intended for wider circulation, but feedback from their first accidental appearance justifies their (minimally revised) re-appearance, and requests from a number of universities to adapt and re-print them. So you may have seen them somewhere else already! Recognising work at Master's level is one of those "I can't describe it, but I know it when I see it " situations.
This is here for three reasons: To explain what I mean by "Frame of Reference" in Tools for Thought Reflexively, the very idea of a frame of reference (or its cousins, discourses ) is an example of a tool for thought, and Quite differently, as an example of a basic (rather than a critical) literature review, which may be of use to students trying to get their heads around how it works "Frame of Reference: The context, viewpoint, or set of presuppositions or of evaluative criteria within which a person's perception and thinking seem always to occur, and which constrains selectively the course and outcome of these activities" Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought (2nd edn: 1988) "We are told about the world before we see it. We imagine most things before we experience them. and those preconceptions, unless education has made us acutely aware, govern deeply the whole process of perception.
This page has now been revised (May 2010) in the light of John Hattie's recent apparently definitive work Visible Learning; a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement (London; Routledge, 2009). The first thing to change has been the title, which used to be "What works and what doesn't". Hattie points out that in education most things work, more or less.
Thanks once again to Bruno Setola for putting me on to this very interesting take on feedback (and I can recommend his site for some interesting further work on TCs). This is an invited lecture (the whole video is 88 minutes) from Royce Sadler of the Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Griffith University, Brisbane, given for the WriteNow Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching , and organised by Liverpool Hope University in May 2010. At first sight Sadler directly contradicts Hattie's major finding from his meta-analysis --which is in itself interesting enough to make him worth listening to. But there is more to his approach than that, bearing in mind that he is talking about the assessment of complex learning among university students, rather than for example the development of simpler skills among children. The abstract is here .