1. Evidence for Learning and Teaching

Subject 1: EDUC90755 Evidence for Learning and Teaching.

I took this subject in February 2021.
The major focus of this subject is how school leaders know that teachers and students are learning in positive ways throughout their school. Students will explore the current evidence-base about what works best; what criteria can be developed to make decisions about success; how to develop a program logic for their leadership role; and how to evaluate the impacts of leadership decisions on both teachers’ and students’ learning. This subject aligns with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Australian Professional Standard for Principals.

You can expect to:

  • Analyse and integrate the key findings from research findings into a coherent story about the major influences on student and teacher learning;
  • Understand and apply how to reflect on the evidence of impact in a school;
  • Understand and apply program logic, degree of implementation, and evaluating effects of interventions;
  • Critically evaluate the empirical research that studies impact in schools;
  • Develop tools for using to evaluate impact in multiple situations.

Recommended Text

The following text is recommended be purchased prior to the commencement of this subject: Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning for Teachers. Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Reading List  (GDrive)


Things I read, learnt and did

  • Lecturers in this subject: Pauline Thompson, Rob Sbaglia, John Hattie.
  • Assignment 1 was calculating and analysing effect sizes for NAPLAN results
  • Assignment 2a  was a group assignment. We made the ‘SAILS’ school, created a PD plan for the implementation of Direct Instruction. We presented a video.
  • Assignment 2b was writing a Program Logic and implementation plan. I used Collective Teacher Efficacy. I enjoyed deepening my understanding about this. I listened to many podcasts of interviews with Jenni Donohoo. I also enjoyed this paper on CTE by Donohoo, O’Leary and Hattie.
  • Things I learnt: Calculating actual effect sizes was new to me; it was good to learn the mechanics behind effect sizes and understand how they relate to a data set. Analysing the NAPLAN data was useful too. The lecture by John Hattie on effect sizes was very nuanced and it was interesting to hear how he has shifted to focusing on the story behind the effect sizes, the context in which they are used and applied etc. So many people just yell that intervention X has an effect size of 0.xx and then leave it at that, but there is so much more depth and detail behind it. For instance, Hattie ascribed Inquiry based teaching an effect size of 0.46 and problem-based learning 0.35, a  but that does not mean that these strategies are ineffective or should be dismissed.  With inquiry, it is important WHEN it is used by the teacher. At the start of a topic is it not effective, but when students have a good understanding of the topic, then inquiry can be far more effective. It has become fashionable to be a Hattie-detractor, but I find that Hattie himself is very nuanced about his own research. People who superficially criticise Hattie’s effect sizes without actually reading the book and really looking into the studies, tend to miss the point. So it is back to Dylan Wiliam’s words: “Everything works somewhere; nothing works everywhere.”
  1. https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/Influences.  (back)