Sunday, 28 July 2013

Who doesn't want to maximise impact on achievement? Work smart and check out the research.

With so many new innovative practices around (not to mention all the 'old' tried and tested ones!) it's hard to decide what to concentrate our time and effort on in order to maximise the achievement of our learners.

If you've not come across it yet, John Hattie's research is absolutely invaluable and helps take the guess-work out of it all.

He has evaluated the results of 800 pieces of research looking at what influences achievement and ordered them depending on effectiveness.

To give you a little taste, here's a diagram from ranking the influences in order.

To put it in context 0.4 is 'average'.


They also provide a glossary of terms here

If you'd like to read more there are two books available with generous previews on amazon that you can look through  Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning and the original text detailing the research  Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement available.


  1. So 'Drugs' have a positive effect on student achievement, more so than Mentoring, Summer school and homework.

    what drugs, what dosage?!

    Surely children aren't being studied in this way, are they?

  2. Hi Douglas and thank you for your comment.

    It's interesting reading isn't it - I know that I found Teacher Subject Matther Knowledge at 0.09 pretty suprising!

    It may be that those 'drug' studies were linked to the achievement of students who were using medication for ADHD for example.

    My last headteacher once told me that introducing any new initiative will have a positive effect on the figures - it's just whether or not it is lasting and continues to have a positive effect over time that's the real issue.

    I really appreciate what Hattie is trying to do though. There are always so many new educational changes being made - you only have to watch the news - that trying to make sense out of the research that's out there seems like a good way to make sure that neither teachers nor students are wasting their time doing activities which will actually not have a real positive impact on their achievement.

    Best wishes