Monday, May 06, 2013

More Thoughts Thanks to John Hattie

I'm still working my way through Hattie's book. A conversation with a brilliant colleague today got me thinking about one piece from Hattie.

A powerful strategy (at 0.72 - nearly double the average) is teacher-student relationships. This is not a surprise to me and likely not to anyone else who works with other people. Relationships matter. A lot.

The way my district is interpreting Hattie is moving us away from strong relationships. We're standardizing lessons more and more so that the same thing is happening in every classroom at a grade level. That leaves very little room for getting to know students and for building the rapport that is critical. (I see a lot of other problems but I'll restrain myself for now.)

The conversation with my colleague came out of concerns that we are so focused on content that we are missing the many pieces of teaching that aren't related to content - wait time, talking less while students talk more, deep questioning, building relationships, etc. I hadn't considered this before she brought it up. Now I can't stop thinking about it.

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