kitchen table math, the sequel: Visible Learning

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Visible Learning

Dan Dempsey put me onto Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement by John Hattie, which I will be reading shortly thanks to Two-Day 1-Click.

Here's something I didn't know:
As Nuthall (2007) has shown, 80% of feedback a student receives about his or her work in elementary (primary) school is from other students. But 80% of this student-provided feedback is incorrect!
p. 4


It's always worse than you think.

So I guess we can safely assume the peer editing thing won't be working out.

The Hidden Lives of Learners by Graham Nuthall
review of Hidden Lives


Catherine Johnson said...

I'd love to get a copy of Nuthall's last book...

Fer*Cambe said...

I think its a great finding by Nuthall, and right on to put it up here, thanks!

As a teacher I see this in class every single day, kids wrongly explaining to others what they've done right and wrong. Especially what they've done wrong! Even if its a subjective question the kids will authoritatively tell each other exactly how wrong they are when they might be onto something really special.

This is a great post!

SteveH said...

But this is what happens with group discovery. Maybe one or two kids actually discover anything (maybe not the right thing), and then they proceed to directly instruct (badly) the rest of the kids. If the benefit is really the process of discovery, then they must realize that few ever achieve that goal.

In reality, they don't really care about discovery. They only care about child-centered, mixed-ability, group learning with the teacher as the guide on the side.

VickyS said...

Remember my famous group work/peer review story? My son was in a group doing a math problem. He understood it and worked out the right answer; the four other kids were arguing for a different answer. He had been appointed group leader, who was supposed to give the group's answer. When called upon to give the group's answer, he gave his (correct) answer.

He was reprimanded for not giving the group's "consensus" answer. When he protested that it was wrong, he was told he should have done a better job convincing them of the rightness of his answer.

So you can see that the point of the whole exercise was far afield from the kids actually learning how to do the problem...

Doug Sundseth said...

Peer review in my son's (3rd grade) class wass of the form, "It's got a great beat and you can dance to it, so I give it an A". Had this been managed at all by the teacher, it could have risen to the level of merely useless, but the teacher's classroom management skills needed remediation -- desperately.

VickyS said...

I looked at Catherine's peer editing link and had this thought--if a student used this rubric to evaluate another student's work, but the result was never communicated to the writer and instead used to assess the skills of the reader, this might be a valuable exercise. It would allow readers to check unfamiliar work for grammatical errors that they might not recognize in their own work, thereby becoming more mindful of these errors in their own writing.

A teacher who used the rubric in this fashion would compare the reader's evaluation of the written work with the teacher's own evaluation of the written work. The teacher would then evaluate the written work directly (providing correct feedback to the writer) and evaluate the reader's comments (providing correct feedback to the reader).

So much for guide on the side.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will post more excerpts from Visible Learning. It seems like both sides argue endlessly about their studies and data, so an objective source evaluating all of them would be awesome. Our library does not have it, and I can't afford the $40, so I'm counting on you!

LynnG said...

If 80% of student feedback is wrong, what % of teacher feedback is wrong? Are we just assuming that the teacher is 100% correct the 20% of the time they actually provide feedback?

Catherine Johnson said...

Fer*Cambe--You've got to give us examples!!

Catherine Johnson said...

I'll be posting lots from Hattie's book when it gets here - what a find. (Thanks to Dan Dempsey, obviously.)