An Intro to John Hattie's Research and Implications

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John Hattie's extensive research into what works best in education is something that all educators should be familiar with.

This session will provide an introduction to what his research found and how best to implement it in the classroom.

Ready to Explore?

Wait, wait, before we get started!! Let's take a moment to ask ourselves, "How do I feel about research in the classroom?"

In Today's Session

  1. Overview of Hattie's Work

  2. Exploring the Barometer of Influence

  3. High-Effect Size Strategies

  4. Three Strategies You Can Use Right Away

  5. Reflection

1. Overview of Hattie's Work

“How do you know if what you’re doing in the classroom is effective?”

John Hattie developed a way of synthesizing various influences in different meta-analyses according to their effect size (Cohen’s d). In his ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” he ranked 138 influences that are related to learning outcomes from very positive effects to very negative effects.

Hattie found that the average effect size of all the interventions he studied was 0.40. Therefore, he decided to judge the success of influences relative to this ‘hinge point’, in order to find an answer to the question

“What works best in education?”

Defining Vocabulary

  1. Learning Intention: A statement of what students are expected to learn from the lesson.

  2. Meta-Analysis: A study that uses a statistical approach to combine the results from multiple studies in an effort to improve estimates of the size of the effect.

  3. Metacognition: For students, knowing what they are expected to learn (learning intentions) and what the learning goal looks like when they have learned it (success criteria), and having an idea of the route or strategies that will help them get there, and knowing what to do when they don't know what to do.

  4. Success Criteria: Statements that describe what success looks like when the learning goal is reach. They are specific, concrete, and measurable.

  5. Teacher Clarity: Instructional moves a teacher makes that begin with careful lesson planning, clarifying learning intentions for teacher and students. It includes consistent evaluation of where students are in the learning process, describing learning intentions and success criteria.

Visible Learning for Mathematics

John Hattie conducted a meta-analysis of that research.

What Works? What Doesn't?

Let's take a moment to inventory our own awareness of instructional strategies. Take a look at some of the strategies in this Jamboard. With partner(s), take a moment to sort these. There are several panels you can work on.

2. The Barometer of Influence

“We have no right to teach in a way that leads to students gaining less than d= 0.40 within a year,” says John Hattie (shown left).

Mike Bell, author of The Fundamentals of Teaching (shown right), says it this way:

"The easiest way to improve learning is to STOP doing things that are shown not to work."

3. High-Effect Size Strategies

  • Visible Learning MetaX Database - Provides access to research behind instructional strategies.

  • Strategies with >0.50 effect size merit our attention.

  • What are strategies that have the potential to accelerate student growth? And why is that important?

Activity: Exploring Ten Strategies

Ten Strategies That Work

With partner(s), explore the slide deck shown to the left. Use an available 3-2-1 Jamboard below to share the following:

      1. Three important ideas about the practice.

      2. Two examples of how the practice could be used in the classroom or in professional development.

      3. One question or unresolved point about the practice.

4. Three Strategies You Can Use

Ready to set your students (or teachers) up for learning success? Checkout these three powerful strategies:

  • First, jigsaw (d=1.2) to introduce new concepts, skills, or strategies.

  • Second, use a classroom discussion (d=0.82) strategy to assist students gain a deeper conceptual understanding.

  • Third, problem-solving teaching (d=0.67) to achieve transfer learning.

5. Reflection


  1. Pair Up

  2. Roll The Dice using one of these free services:

    1. Roll Die

    2. Roll a Die

    3. Classroom Dice

  3. Share what your dice debrief is in your group

  4. Discuss with each other