Evidence-based practice - Creative Teaching Framework

Evidence-based practice
- what does this mean to you?
Evidence-based Practice
“It is hard to conceive of a less scientific enterprise among human endeavours. Virtually
anything that could be thought up for treatment was tried out at one time or another, and,
once tried, lasted decades or even centuries before being given up. It was, in retrospect,
the most frivolous and irresponsible kind of experimentation, based on nothing but trial and
error, and usually resulting in precisely that sequence” (p.159)
The medical profession before the drive for evidence-based practice
(Thomas, 1979, p.159)
“The key question is whether teaching can shift from an immature to a mature
profession, from opinions to evidence, from subjective judgements and personal contact to
critique of judgements “
(Hattie, 2009, p.259)
Is Evidence-based practice possible for
“…over the past 3 decades, we have amassed enough research and
theory about learning to derive a truly research based-model of
(Marzano, 1992, p.2)
“There are systematic and principled aspects of effective teaching,
and there is a base of verifiable evidence of knowledge that supports
that work in the sense that it is like engineering or medicine”
(Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2006, p.12)
“We have a rich educational research base, but rarely is it used by
teachers, and rarely does it lead to policy changes that affect the nature
of teaching”
(Hattie, 2009, p.2)
The Challenge for Evidence-based teaching:
Moving Teaching from Mystery to Heuristics
“Heuristics represent an incomplete yet distinctly advanced understanding
of what was previously a mystery. But that understanding is unequally
distributed. Some people remain stuck in the world of mystery, while others
master its heuristics. The beauty of heuristics is that they guide us toward a
solution by way of organized exploration of possibilities.”
(Martin, R, 2009, The Design of Business, p.12)
Another sneaky question for you – Where are you now?
Some Pioneers in the Field
• Bransford, J. et al., (1999), Brain, Mind, Experience & School. National
Academy Press: Washington, DC.
• Marzano, R. (2007), The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive
Framework for Effective Instruction. ASCD.
• Mayer, R.E. & Alexander, P. A., (2010), Handbook of Research on Learning
and Instruction. Routledge: London.
• Petty, G., (2009), Evidence-Based Teaching: A Practical Approach. Nelson
Thornes: Cheltenham.
• Hattie, J., (2009), Visible Learning. Routledge: New York.
• Hattie, J., (2012), Visible Learning For Teachers: Maximizing Impact On
Learning. Routledge: London.
• Hattie, J. & Yates, G. C. R., (2014), Visible learning and the Science of How
we Learn. Routledge: New York.
A Revolution in Teaching
“Teaching is about to embark on a revolution, and like medicine, abandon both
custom and practice, and fashions and fads, to become evidence-based”
Half a million experiments in real classrooms have uncovered the teaching methods
that work best. These can improve students’ attainment by two grades compared
to conventional practice.
The fifty or more methods – some old, some new:
• can each raise pass rates by 20% to 30%
• are creative, challenging, and greatly enjoyed by students
• require the learner to do more in class …. and the teacher less!
• equip students for progression, by “teaching intelligence”.
(Geoff Petty, Evidence-based Teaching)
Big Method effects on Student Attainment from Hattie’s metaanalysis (1)
Mean effect
Students getting feedback on their work from the teacher or from
themselves (self-assessment or from peers or some other sources.
Note: some feedback has more effect than others. For example, peer
assessment is 0.63 and self-assessment is 0.54
Whole-class interactive teaching (direct instruction)
A specific approach to active learning in class, which is highly teacher led, but
very active for students. This involves summaries reviews and a range of
active learning methods, including questioning
Strategy training
Explicit teaching of subject-specific and general study and thinking skills,
integrated into the curriculum
Cooperative learning
Specific teaching methods such as jigsaw that give students responsibility for
learning and teaching each other
Challenging goals for students
Giving students a summary in advance and a purpose for the learning
Big Method effects on Student Attainment from Hattie’s metaanalysis (2)
Mean effect
Mastery learning
Students must work (tested and re-tested) until they achieve the pass mark
Creativity Programmes
Teaching creative thinking
Study Skills
Teaching students useful study skills without integrating it into the
Advance Organizers
Giving students a summary in advance and a purpose for the learning
Concept Mapping
Problem-based learning
Giving students a problem to solve that requires them to teach themselves
What does an Effect Size look like
in terms of student attainment?
• As a baseline an effect size of 1.0 standard deviation
is massive and is typically associated with:
– Advancing the learner’s achievement by one year
– Improving the rate of learning by 50%
– A two grade leap in GCSE grades
Effect size is a way to measuring the effectiveness of a particular intervention to ascertain a
measure of both the improvement (gain) in learner achievement for a group of learners AND
the variation of student performances expressed on a standardised scale. By taking into
account both improvement and variation it provides information about which interventions
are worth having
NOTE: For students moving from one year to the next, the average effect size
across all students is 0.40. Hence, effect sizes above 4.0 are of particular
Some important considerations about Effect Sizes
As Hattie notes:
“…some effect sizes are ‘Russian dolls’ containing more than one
strategy. For example, ‘Feedback’ requires that the student has been
given a goal, and completed an activity for which the feedback is to
be given; ‘whole-class interactive teaching’ is a strategy that includes
‘advance organisers’ and feedback and reviews” (p.62)
It is also important to balance effect size with level of difficulty of interventions.
For example, providing ‘advance organizers’, which are summaries in advance of
the teaching, has an effect size of 0.46, which is pretty average. However, they
only take 3 minutes at the beginning of the lesson, and potentially offer almost a
grade improvement in terms of student’s achievement.
Furthermore, the effect size depends on how effectively you
implement the strategy, as you would expect
Hattie and Beyond: Essential Questions
• How do effective methods produce positive impacts on the
learning process?
• What are the key factors and core principles of learning that
impact learner attainment (Model of Learning)?
• How might teaching professionals use this knowledge
thoughtfully in their practice (e.g., designing effective
instructional strategies) to enhance student learning and
• What are the implications for the professional development of
Activity: Select one of Hattie’s high effect size methods and
explain how it works in terms of how humans learns
Effective Teaching – and Learning - requires
Good Attention
“It’s biologically impossible to learn anything that you’re not paying attention to;
the attentional mechanism drives the whole learning and memory process”
(Sylwester, 1998, p.6)
“The shape and content of life depends on how attention has been used….
Attention is the most important tool in the task of improving the quality
of experience”
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p.33)
Ask Michelle Pfeiffer
Interest and perceived value initiate and drive
the learning process
“There can be no mental development without
interest. Interest is the sine qua non for attention and
apprehension. You may endeavour to excite interest by
means of birch rods, or you may coax it by the
incitement of pleasurable activity. But without interest
there will be no progress”
(Whitehead, 1967, p.37)
Importance of challenge
• “Succeeding at something that you thought was difficult is the surest way
in which to enhance self-efficacy and self-concept as a learner”
(Hattie, 2012, p.58)
• “Educating students to have high, challenging, appropriate expectations is
among the most powerful influence in enhancing student achievement”
(Hattie, 2012, p.60)
Beliefs can positively (or negatively) influence
the learning process
I belief, through effort,
a top grade is possible
I’m not smart and its all blur, lah,
and I’ll fail
“If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”
(Henry Ford)
“We forget that beliefs are no more than perceptions, usually with a limited
sell by date, yet we act as though they were concrete realities”
(Adler, 1996, p.145)
Attribution Theory: Mindsets
Carol Dweck)
Fixed Mindset
(Intelligence is static )
Growth Mindset
(Intelligence can be developed)
Leads to a desire to look smart and
therefore a tendency to:
Leads to a desire to learn and therefore
a tendency to:
Avoid challenges
• Embrace challenges
Get defensive and give up when faced with
• Persist in the face of setbacks
• See effort as the path to mastery
See effort as something less able people need,
and not for the smart
• Learn from criticism
Ignore useful negative feedback
• Find Lessons and inspiration in the
Feel threatened by the success of others
success of others
As a result, they may plateau early
As a result, they reach ever-higher
and achieve less than their full potential levels of achievement
“There are differences in attainment gains relating to whether teachers believe that
achievement is difficult to change because it is fixed and innate, compared to teachers who
believe that attainment is changeable (the latter leading to higher gains)”
(Hattie, 2012, p.92)
Impact of Motivation & Beliefs on learning
Marzano (1988) categorized teaching strategies and other ‘interventions’
depending on whether they activated in the student:
The self-system – A set of beliefs the student holds about his or her
capabilities, the meaning and value of what they have been asked to do, along
with the likelihood of success
The meta-cognitive system – Students setting themselves goals, monitoring
their progress towards these goals and adapting t difficulties
The cognitive system – This is the system that reasons, and thinks in other
ways with the information at its disposal, to achieve the desired goals.
He found that activating the self-system had greatest effect, the metacognitive
system the next most effect, and the cognitive system least, though it is still
substantial. Interestingly, he argued it is the self-system that activates the metacognitive system, which actives the cognitive system, which creates learning.
(Marzano – A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction)
Implications of Marzano’s research
Highlights the importance of the teachers role in motivating
students by encouraging them to see the value of what they are
about to learn, and to believe in their own capacity to learn it.
“..if something can be learned, it can be learned in
a motivating manner”
“..every instructional plan also needs to be a motivational plan”
(Wlodkowski, R. J., 1999, Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn)
Core Principle 1:
Motivational strategies are incorporated into the
design of learning experiences
Effect size: 0.48. However, this is a Russian Doll (Meta-principle) as it runs across a
range of method uses
Instructional strategies must facilitate:
• Meeting fundamental universal needs (e.g., Mastery, Autonomy,
Relatedness, Purpose)
• Making learning interesting for the particular learner group (e.g.,
meaningful, sufficiently challenging, differentiated)
• Reframing limiting beliefs (e.g., promote a Growth Mindset) where
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither
does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily“
(Zig Zagler)
Effective Learning needs Structure
• students must be aware of the purpose, key points
and principles in what they are learning
• “It is indisputable that, from the students’ perspective, clear standards
and goals are a vitally important element of an effective educational
experience. Lack of clarity on these points is almost always associated with
negative evaluations, learning difficulties and poor performance”
(Ramsden (1992, p.127)
“Teachers are successful to the degree that they can move students from single to
multiple ideas then relate and extend these ideas such that learners construct and
reconstruct knowledge and ideas. It is not the knowledge or ideas, but the learner’s
construction of the knowledge and ideas that is critical. Increases in student learning
follows a reconceptualization as well as an acquisition of information”
(Hattie, 2009, p.37)
Importance of Clear Outcomes
The Chim (Cheem) version
‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here, said Alice?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the cat’
‘I don’t much care where…’ said Alice
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the cat.
(Adapted from Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)
“The ability to know what you want is the single most important
skill in managing your life”
(McDermott, 1998)
Core Principle 2: Learning goals, objectives and
proficiency expectations are clearly visible to learners
Effect Sizes: Challenging Goals 0.56 (Hattie); Specifying Goals, 0.97 (Marzano)
Learning design must incorporate:
• Clearly communicating goals, objectives and performance
standards through real world examples
• Ensuring goals are challenging for the learner group (e.g.,
achievable with effort)
• Explicit teaching of learning intentions and success criteria to
ensure learners understanding of what they look like, sound
like and feel like
Core Principle 3: Learners prior knowledge is
activated and connected to new learning
Effect sizes: Improving student engagement through opportunities to respond,
0.60; Self-verbalization/self-questioning, 0.64; Remediation Feedback, 0.65
• Prior knowledge is the lens through which students will perceive and react
to new information provided in a learning event.
• “All new knowledge gains its form and meaning through its connection
with pre-existing knowledge and its influence on the organization and
reorganization of prior knowledge” (Shulman 1991, p.10)
• Ausubel (1978) went as far as arguing that:
“If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I
would say this: the most important single factor influencing learning is
what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him (sic)
Core principle 4: Learning is enhanced through
multiple methods and presentation modes that
engage the range of senses
Another Russian Doll principle as it runs across a range of method uses
“…it is desirable to have multiple ways of teaching and
there is no need to classify students into different
(Hattie, 2012, p.91)
“Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by
sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged
assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they
are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their
daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves”
(Chickering & Gamson, 1987, p.3)
Another bit of Educational Jurassic Park –
finally put to bed
“One of the more fruitless pursuits is labelling students with ‘learning styles’. This
modern fad for learning styles, not to be confused with the more worthwhile
notion of multiple learning strategies, assumes that different students have
differing preferences for particular ways of learning (Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer, &
Bjork, 2009; Riener & Willingham, 2010).
Often, the claim is that when teaching is aligned with the preferred or dominant
learning style (for example, auditory, visual, tactile, or kinesthetic) then
achievement is enhanced. While there can be many advantages by teaching
content using many different methods (visual, spoken, movement), this must not
be confused with thinking that students have differential strengths in thinking in
these styles” (p89)
Core Principal 5: Content is organized around key
concepts and principles that are fundamental to
understanding the structure of a subject
Effect sizes: Direct instruction, 0.59; Concept mapping, 0.60; Advanced organizers,
Knowledge is increasing exponentially and we may
be living in a rapidly changing volatile world – but
our brains are the same as 10,000 years ago.
Managing cognitive load is now becoming a so-called
21ist century skill.
• Understanding involves making personal meaning – seeing relations
between constructs and building new learning on old; moving from
concrete to abstract – reliant on both acquiring knowledge bases and
organizing them through good thinking
Core Principle 6: Good thinking promotes the
building of understanding
Effect size: Metacognitive strategies; 0.69; Creativity programmes, 0.65:
Questioning, 4.1; Teaching learning strategies, 0.62; Teaching learning strategies,0.63
“The best thing we can do, from the point of view of the brain and learning,
is to teach our learners how to think”
(Jenson, 1996, p.163)
“Thought is the key to knowledge. Knowledge is
discovered by thinking, analyzed by thinking,
organized by thinking, transformed by thinking,
assessed by thinking, and, most importantly,
acquired by thinking”
(Paul, 1993 vii)
Thinking is the cognitive process that builds Understanding
Metacognitive Strategies enhance learning capability
• Metacognition refers to the awareness of, and ability to monitor and
control, one’s cognitive and affective processing in order to enhance
• Metacognition plays a central role in learning by helping to guide the
learner’s cognitive processing of the to-be-learned material
• Good metacognitive capability is the basis of becoming a self-regulated
learner, which is a major goal of education
• Explicitly teaching students to be more metacognitive in their problemsolving enhances their performance and success rates (e.g., Bransford, Hattie)
Note: Learning strategies can involve physical tools such as mind-mapping,
etc., but it’s the internal cognitive processes inside our heads – covert
strategies – that really makes the difference in terms of quality of learning
Core Principle 7: Learning Design utilizes the
working of memory systems
Sensory Memory
Limited Capacity
5-9 bits of
Integrating –
Long –Term
Infinite Capacity
Another Russian Doll principle: Our Memory Systems are fundamental to all
learning – how these are managed affects the rate and quality of learning
Working Memory
• While human brains have potentially unlimited storage capacity by means
of long term memory, all new learning has to firstly pass through working
memory, which has a limited capacity of around 7 ± 2 bits of information.
This poses problems of Cognitive Load for learning , but as Clark & Lyons
(2004) point out:
“…it is in working memory that active mental work,
including learning, takes place. Working memory is the
site of conscious thought and processing” (p.48)
Long Term Memory
Long term memory, once viewed as an inert dumping ground, is crucial for
learning and the development of expertise. For example, Kircher et al (2006) point
“...long term memory is now viewed as the central dominant structure of
human cognition. Everything we see, hear and think about is critically
dependent on and influenced by our long-term memory” (pp.3-4)
Research clearly shows that a major factor that differentiates experts from novices
is that expert problem-solvers are able to draw on the vast knowledge bases in
their long-term memory and quickly select the best approach and procedures for
solving a given problem As Kircher et al allude:
“We are skillful in an area because our long-term memory contains huge
amounts of information concerning that area. That information permits us to
quickly recognize the characteristics of a situation and indicates to us, often
unconsciously, what to do and how to do it” (p.4)
Minimize Forgetting through Review:
Utilizing the working of WM & LTM
Probability of recall
Recall without reviews
Recall with reviews at intervals
with continuous periodic reviews
Some Pedagogic Implications of the working of
memory Systems
 Lessons should:
• be chunked into segments to avoid/reduce cognitive overload
• Include activities to create cognitive engagement (Good Thinking)
• build in review time on the Content (e.g., Key Concepts, Principles)
- to ensure effective transfer from Working Memory to
Long-term memory (Memory Systems). Seems like a Russian Doll
 Tasks involving thinking help to build better constructs (understanding of concepts)
as students get more familiar with the material and start to chunk bits of it together
themselves. However, encouraging to them to notice the constituent parts and their
relations – Making Thinking Visible – is useful
 Memory is strengthened by repetition rather than total time, hence recall is crucial
 Chunked material, especially, when well established in LTM, takes less space in WM,
enabling more space to concentrate on the thinking process rather than memorization
Graphic Organisers and other visual
representations (effect size 1.2 to 1.3)
How Visual representations work:
• Diagrams cannot contain all the details – so the learner is forced to isolate
the key points and their relations – which imposes a structure on the
information. This helps to see ‘the wood from the trees’
• Recall is almost always visually triggered; hence visual representation acts
as a cue triggering the full memory
• Only structured information can go in Long term memory, so this helps the
transmission from WM to LTM and subsequent recall
• Facilitates the Whole –Part –Whole strategy in helping to make
connections (e.g., relating information)
• Related information is quite high up in the SOLO taxonomy – hence
fostering and building a deep understanding of the topic
WPW Learning Model
The basic WPW Learning Model can be depicted as follows:
Learning Segments
Segment # 1
Segment # 2
Segment # 3
Segment # 4
Segment # 5
The ‘first whole’ creates an organizational framework for new content
The supporting component elements - ‘parts’ - are then systematically developed
The ‘second whole’ links these parts together to foster understanding
SOLO Taxonomy: some Key Points
SOLO models how learning develops and the qualitative aspects of this development.
When we learn a new topic we start near the bottom of the taxonomy (however bright we are),
and as our learning improves we climb the taxonomy, adding detail but also relations.
SOLO can be used to specify acceptable or unacceptable levels of performance in suitable
tasks and subject areas.
Experts structure their understanding around principles rather than around topics
“Expertise is not just knowing more. Experts structure or organise their knowledge around
Deep subject principles, and understand the conditions when these principles apply.
Their memory is indexed so that relevant knowledge can be retrieved. When solving
a problem they look to see what conditions apply, and so retrieve all the information that
is relevant to that task. They don’t need to search the whole of their permanent memory.
That is, they can transfer their knowledge, which makes it fully ‘functional’”
(Bransford, 2000, p.24)
Hence the importance of teaching core principles that underpin the structure of a topic –
this enables the learner to transfer their learning to entirely new contexts.
SOLO: Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome
Base with
minimal age
Consistency &
Formal Operations
(16+ years)
Maximal: cue +
relevant data +
Interrelations +
Deduction and
induction. Can
generalize to
situations not
resolved. No felt need
to give closed decisions
– conclusions held
open, or qualified to
Logically possible
(13-15 years)
High: cue +
Relevant data +
Induction. Can
generalize within
given or
context using
related aspects
No inconsistency within
the given system, but
since closure is unique
so inconsistencies may
occur when he goes
outside the system
Middle Concrete
(10-12 years)
Medium: cue +
Isolated relevant
Can “generalize” only in terms of a few
limited and independent aspects. Often
inconsistent and variable conclusions made
Core Principle 8: The development of expertise requires
deliberate practice
Effect sizes: Spaced and mass practice, 0.71; Challenging goals, 0.52; Remediation
feedback, 0.65; Mastery learning, 0.50
Deliberate Practice is characterized by several elements:
– Activity specifically designed to improve performance, often with a teacher’s help
– It can be repeated a lot (needs to be)
– Feedback on results is continually available
– Highly demanding mentally (whether a physical or mental task)
– It isn’t much fun (in the main, but may be for some)
Typically requires a teachers help – one who can see more objectively what needs to be
improved and how
Built around the principle of stretching the individual beyond existing performance level –
relates to challenging but achievable goals (must be as clearly defined as possible)
“If the activities that lead to greatness were easy and fun, then everybody
would do them, and they would not distinguish the best from the rest”
(Colvin, 2008, p.72)
How Deliberate Practice Works
Great performers possess large, highly developed, intricate mental models of the
domain, enabling them to:
Make sense of new knowledge more effectively and efficiently as they have vast stores of organized
knowledge in LTM,
Distinguish relevant information from irrelevant information
Predict what will happen next in a domain specific situation
“The best performers observe themselves closely… monitor what is happening in
their own minds, and ask how its going. Researchers call this metacognition …top
performers do this more systematically than others do; it’s an established part of
their routine” (p.118)
It enable great performers to perceive more, to know more and to remember
more than most people. The effects go beyond that:
– Many years of intensive deliberate practice changes the body and the brain –
concept of neuroplasticity
The impact of assessment in student learning
It is now clearly recognized that assessment is not simply a means to measure
learning that has already occurred, but is a major facilitator in the learning process
itself. As Boud (1988) illustrated:
“There have been a number of notable studies over the years which have
demonstrated that assessment methods and requirements probably have
a greater influence on how and what students learn than any other single
factor. This influence may well be of greater significance than the impact
of teaching or learning materials” (p.35)
Feedback is so important in the learning process
• There is much of merit in the learning stakes for clear, concise
and timely feedback:
clarifying what good performance is (e.g. goals, criteria, standards)
identifying gaps in performance and specific learning needs
closing the gap between current and desired performance
positive beliefs and self-esteem
the development of self-assessment in learning
appropriate modification of instructional strategies
“…all students should be educated in ways that develop
their capability to assess their own learning”
(Hattie, 2012, p.141)
Core Principle 9: Assessment is integrated into
the learning design to provide quality feedback
Effect sizes: Feedback between teachers and students, 0.75;
Peer assessment, 0.63; Self-assessment, 0.54; Providing formative evaluation
to teachers, 0.90
Assessment is not separate from the instructional
process but an integral part of it.
As Perkins (1992) suggests, once considered thoughtfully:
“Teaching, learning, and assessment merge
into one seamless enterprise” (p.176)
Core principle 10: A Psychological Climate is
created which is success orientated and fun
Effect sizes: Teacher-student relationships, 0.72; Class environment, 0.56.
Also, this is a Russian Doll, as it fosters the building of Rapport.
“Rapport is the ultimate tool for getting results with other
(Robbins, 2001, p.231)
The importance of fostering the psychological climate has been fully documented by
Jensen (1996):
“Learners in positive, joyful environments are likely to experience
better learning, memory and feelings of self-esteem” (p.98)
Far from limiting the learning experience, humour is now seen to have many positive impacts,
such as:
Refreshing the brain
Creating mental images that retain learning
Reinforcing desired behaviour and makes classroom management easier
Developing positive attitudes
Promoting creativity
Contributing to the enjoyment of teaching
How to Build Good Rapport with students
Frederickson (1980) suggested that Positive Emotions, in addition to making
people feel good and improving their subjective life experiences, have the
potential to broaden people’s way of thinking and help them build physical,
intellectual and social resources. There are many specific ways to promote this:
– looking directly at students, showing empathic listening, good observation of
what’s going on (sensory acuity), using smile when appropriate, supporting
encouraging language and calibrated body language, etc.
– Asking students questions about their interests, concerns with learning and
acting on the information received over time
– Having a sense of humour and encouraging it from students – seeing the
‘funny side’ in situations of adversity on occasions, but keeping them moving
to productive outcomes
– Praising effort and a ‘can do’ attitude, being up-beat about what’s going on in
the classroom
It is our behaviour that directly connects to results, even though our
thinking may be responsible for generating the behaviour”
(Molden, 2001, p.59)
Core Principles – How they work
While each principle focuses attention on a key area relating to
effective pedagogy, they are mutually supporting, interdependent and
potentially highly synergetic.
As Stigler & Hiebert (1999) highlight:
‘‘Teaching is a system. It is not a loose mixture of individual
features thrown together by the teacher. It works more like a
machine, with the parts operating together and reinforcing
one another, driving the vehicle forward’’ (p.75)
Hatties (2009) summary of highly effective teachers fully captures this synergy in practice:
“..it is teachers using particular teaching methods, teachers with high expectations
for all students, and teachers who have created positive student-teacher relationships
that are more likely to have the above average effects on student achievement”
Good pedagogy is always situated
As Darling-Hammond & Bransford (2005) point out:
“…teachers not only need to understand basic principles of learning but must also
know how to use them judiciously to meet diverse learning goals in contexts where
students differ in their needs” (p.78)
Bruner (2006) captures this most fully, when he asserts that:
“The challenge is always to situate our knowledge in the living context that poses the
“presenting problem” …And that living context, where education is concerned, is the
schoolroom – the schoolroom situated in the broader culture” (p.160)
Which is why Bransford (1999) is so right when he points out:
“Asking which teaching method/technique is best is analogous to asking what tool
is best – a hammer, a screwdriver, a knife, or pliers. In teaching, as in carpentry,
the selection of tools depends on the task at hand and the materials one is
working with” (p.22)
Using Core Principles Thoughtfully
- The Fly Fishing Analogy
Key situated factors involve:
The specific learning outcomes (e.g., recall of facts, conceptual
understanding, competence)
 Learner characteristics (e.g., maturation, motivational level,
prior competence)
 Learning context and resource availability (e.g., learning
environment, facilities, resources)
A frame on Teaching Expertise
Note: this is a Conceptual Model,
not hierarchical in that one stage
must be achieved before the next.
It is essentially Iterative
However, Competent and
Creative teachers employ
a strong pedagogic literacy
- whether Explicit or
Creative Teaching
(Adaptive Expertise)
Ability to situationally create
highly effective pedagogy
Competent Teaching
Ability to design and facilitate
learning experiences based on a
sound pedagogic literacy
Pedagogic Literacy
Understanding key knowledge bases
relating to how humans learn
Professional Development
in developing Teacher quality
“We know a good deal about the characteristics of successful professional
development: it focuses on concrete classroom applications of general ideas;
it exposes teachers to actual practice rather than descriptions of practice;
it offers opportunity for observation, critique and reflection; it provides
opportunity for group support and collaboration; and it involves deliberate
evaluation and feedback by skilled practitioners with expertise about
good thinking”
(Elmore and Burney, 1999, p.263)
Professional development – A
complimentary frame
Darling-Hammond & Bransford (2005) who
summarize that:
“Emerging evidence suggests that teachers benefit from participating in the
culture of teaching – by working with the materials and tools of teaching
practice; examining teaching plans and student learning while immersed in
theory about learning, development and subject matter. They also benefit
from participating in practice as they observe teaching, work closely with
experienced teachers, and work with students to use what they are learning”
(Darling-Hammond & Bransford , 2005, p.404)
Supported Experiments
• Identify tough topics or concepts that student find hard or boring to learn
• Develop an instructional strategy that employs the methods that work
best and customize them to the situated context ( e.g., learning outcomes,
student characteristics, resource availability), based on your professional
judgement (collaboration with colleagues helps)
• Conduct the lessons and get feedback on the influence of learning (e.g.,
students feedback, performance on assessment tasks, peer observation)
• Review the evidence and make modifications
• Practice the methods in a relatively short period of time, making
improvements and refining practice (has similarity with Lesson Study)
• Embed the success in Active Schemes of Work that are shared and
subsequently used for professional development and continual
(From the work of Geoff Petty)

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