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28 November 2017

Teaching Advice From Dr. John Hattie

The Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne addressed Cohort 2018 on “Preparing Purposefully” as teachers.

Last night, Dr. John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne addressed Teach For Australia’s Initial Intensive for Cohort 2018 on the topic of “Preparing Purposefully”.

Teach For Australia staff, Alumni and Associates joined to learn more from the internationally acclaimed author of Visible Learning, the world’s largest evidence-based study on learning.

Caitlin Conway (Cohort 2014) was one Alumni who joined to see the “education guru” speak.

“We also had the chance to hear him speak at our Initial Intensive back in 2014, but I’m excited to hear him again, now that I understand how much his research underpins classroom best practice.”

Incoming Associate Mahsa also expressed excitement at hearing the highly regarded educator speak.

“We’ve heard and read about so many theories throughout the Intensive so far; we are all really looking forward to hearing insight into how we can balance theory with practice.”

Dr. Hattie has been a critical friend of TFA through the years, and he opened his speech advising Associates:

“Never forget why you came into this business. You came in to have an impact on kids, and that’s the whole message behind Visible Learning.”

When it comes to preparing as a teacher, Dr. Hattie said to remember the acronym DIIE: Diagnose, Intervene, Implement and Evaluate.

“Evaluate your own impact, not just the students’,” he stressed as a matter of importance.

If a teacher has a good sense of what they’re trying to achieve, the students need to know what that goal is as well. “Tell students the question you will be asking them in six months’ time so they know what they’re working towards.”

Dr. Hattie said that as a teacher, “80% of what happens in your class, you don’t see or hear.” For this reason, while having a lesson plan is a desirable attribute, teachers should be flexible and be able to read the room to see what’s working, and try to begin lessons by asking the class what they already know to foster meaningful dialogue.

“Most gifted students don’t become gifted adults because they don’t learn to fail. Encourage students to ask questions and have dialogue, rather than asking a question that you already know the ‘right’ answer to.”

In the end, he reminded the aspiring and existing educators: “Remember that teaching isn’t just about learning, it’s about students. Expertise is what you do when you don’t know what to do.”