Research Summary – Visible Learning (John Hattie)

There have been literally hundred’s of thousands of studies on what works in education, teaching and learning.  However, no one wants to read through pages of dry and boring dissertations to figure out what works. As a result, most of us resort to what we like or what we have always done.

A few researchers (most notably, Marzano, Dufour, Reeves, Schmoker, etc…) have analyzed numerous studies to provide summaries of what has proven to work and some of those researchers work has been summarized and posted about on this blog.  These summaries of multiple research are referred to as meta-analyses.

John Hattie, is a researcher from New Zealand how has put together the mod exhaustive study of the research in our field.  Hattie has read, analyzed and synthesized over 800 different meta-analyses from around the world related to academic achievement.  This synthesis is compiled in a book called visible learning.  In this book Hattie measures innumerable factors and compares them using what is referred to as an effect size.  This basically allows the lay person (that’s us) to have insight into what strategies and factors actually impact student achievement based on the work of  literally thousands of scholars and educators.

This book is a gold mine for educators and serves as a fantastic measuring tool for the quality of the instruction and systems we have in place in our school.

Click here to view a blog that summarizes Hattie’s research in an easy to understand way.

Here are some of the most influential factors based on the research.

  • Self reporting grades (1.44)
  • Differentiated instruction (1.28)
  • Providing formative evaluation (0.90)
  • Micro teaching (0.88)
  • Acceleration (0.88)
  • Teacher clarity (0.75)
  • Reciprocal teaching (0.74)
  • Feedback (0.73)
  • Teacher-student relationship (0.72)
  • Spaced vs. mass practice (0.71)

The number in the parenthesis is the effect size.  For more specific information on how this number is calculated view the blog summary link above or check out the book.  Anything over 0.70 is considered to be highly effective.

Much more to come on this book in the future.

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2 Responses to Research Summary – Visible Learning (John Hattie)

  1. Doug Dahms says:

    Why is “Differentiated Instruction” the second place entry? I looked in the book and “Piagetian Programs” is in second place.

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