Professor John Hattie at researchED Melbourne, 1st July 2017

I filmed this video at researchED Melbourne on Saturday 1st July 2017. I have now uploaded it to the researchED YouTube channel. It was great for someone of Hattie’s standing to come and support an event like researchED and his talk was fascinating. Hattie was the discussion topic of the day and many of the subsequent speakers refered to this talk. The video quality isn’t quite good enough to clearly read all of Hattie’s slides but, even so, you can fully understand his arguments. I don’t agree with everything Hattie says but it would be churlish and prejudicial to expand on that here. You can also find Jen Buckingham’s talk here and my talk here.


12 thoughts on “Professor John Hattie at researchED Melbourne, 1st July 2017

  1. We can’t overstate the value of Hattie to education, and I use his work every day in my teaching practice. I only wish he could be a little more precise in how he presents his core findings.

    When he says it “doesn’t matter” what school your kids go to, what happens if they go to a school using a curriculum based on project-based learning, discovery/inquiry learning, etc? What if your kid attends a primary school that eschews phonics in favour of whole language?

    Surely in that case it DOES matter what school they go to, and it IS important that parents are informed about their local school’s effectiveness, and they SHOULD have the option of moving their kids to a school with an evidence-based practice.

    It’s about reframing the debate away from the stale old public/private dichotomy, and towards the evidence/non-evidence based dichotomy. And parents absolutely should have the right to pull their kids out of a non-evidence based school, public or private.

  2. The “stop complaining” riff aimed at teachers was not helpful either. Teachers are sick of being forced to waste time on low-impact stuff, like triple marking, so of course they complain!

    Otherwise, a good talk.

  3. I agree that Hattie can sometimes be too vague. If he knows what has the highest impact then he should push for that not simply say “I don’t care what you do in the classroom…” Also, I dislike the way knowledge acquisition is posited as surface learning. It could be argued that knowing a lot of stuff is deep. At least he’s identified a problem with the skills/knowledge balance.

    Also the claim that 67% of teachers in this country are teaching in the blue and getting results may not be entirely accurate. I’ve always wondered how many teachers know/understand how much tutoring is going on behind the scenes. I would argue that this is especially so in maths. So parents are making a large contribution to many of those kids that do well in that subject. It’s also true that the higher performing kids will have access to quality lit. at home and will be more likely to be watching good doco’s/movies on tv rather than “The Price is Right” etc. I think some parents feel they are doing the educating due to the knowledge poor curriculum.

    Lastly, the reason so many parents are ill-informed in relation to what works is because of silly newspaper articles about/news reports about education and also what they are told by teachers & principals. From my experience most parents believe 100% in learning styles and that instruction must be differentiated because all kids are different and learning at different rates. These views don’t come out of thin air, they come from the schools/teachers etc.

  4. I wanted to add that from my experience the “idea” of explicit instruction is different to how Hatties defines it. The high schools I know of think they are using explicit instruction because they write out learning goals and success criteria.

    Success is not being modelled ie as in a well written poem etc. Explicit instruction is not being understood in the way it should be. I would suggest to Hattie, if I ever had the chance, that this is a major problem as schools try to hold on to their preferred inquiry/problem/project based teaching and their idea that the learner is learning how to learn when they ” get out of the way” rather than instruct. Google is not teaching and just expecting students to know how to write a poem when they may not have ever heard a poem in their lives is ridiculous. This is what is happening in my daughter’s yr 8 class room. No reading of poetry in a term on poetry.

  5. It’s good to put a learning goal on the board and an overview of the lesson staging, but lengthy success criteria are pointless because they don’t mean anything to students in the absence of a clear model of the work. It’s not “visible” at all and is just taking up space on the board. You can always introduce the success criteria when you explicitly model what the students are supposed to do.

  6. Hi Greg,

    First time commenter; long time reader. Is it possible to get access to Hattie’s slides from the presentation?

  7. Thanks for the video Greg. There is so much that can be challenged in this talk.

    Hattie claims Kambrya College is in the top 10% of Schools after his input. You can check the myschool website and see their median Y12 score, the year Hattie was there -2015, fell to 29, it was 30 the year before and also the year before that. This ranked Kambrya at about 370th out about 550 schools.

    Now the top 100 schools are mostly private schools, there are about 5 government schools in the top 100. So that contradicts Hattie’s other point where he says ‘it does make one iota of difference’ whether you go to a govt or private school details here –

    Then there is class size – i challenge anyone to read the 3 meta-analyses Hattie used and come up with his conclusion. Certainly, the authors of the actual meta-analyses have a different conclusion – I can send you the 3 meta-analyses, but my overview is here –

    Then he says he is scared he has made a mistake and is constantly looking for errors. Well he could start with another ResearchEd presented – Dylan Wiliam who has criticised Hattie’s model for years saying the studies need to control for the age of students and the time over which a study runs otherwise you can’t compare effect sizes. Actually, Prof Wiliam says if you do so it’s ‘garbage’. See Wiliam’s talk here and go to 24minutes –

    Also, Prof Wiliam goes through Feedback and says most of the studies are on uni students. Prof John O’Neill also has raised this with Hattie asking him to remove studies on uni students and other non- school people. He sent the details to Hattie around 2011, Hattie has not responded. I’ve checked the studies and concur with O’Neill but would also add more studies, e.g., the studies on Group Cohesion are mostly on small military groups.

    Dr Mandy Lupton critiqued Problem Based Learning and asks why Hattie mostly used studies on graduate nurses and doctors?

    So when Hattie says 99% of the studies are in classrooms, that’s not true!

    I’m slowly going through influences and am reading the meta-analyses, I’m astounded and what I’m finding, for example, look at ‘ welfare policies’ here –

    look at ‘reducing disruptive behaviour- here –

    Teachers should start reading the peer reviews of Hattie’s work.

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