This last Thursday I was fortunate enough to attend a conference around the topic of visible learning in schools. The conference had so much information. I had to filter and compartmentalize the discussions and presentation. One of the discussions revolved around John Hattie’s effect size and how schools can make learning visible in classrooms. The last day was dedicated to organizing a school plan that’ll be carried out through the remainder of the school year.
One of the more memorable pieces of the conference were the discussions that happened between the school teams. My school sent a team of four teachers and two administrators to this particular conference. Discussing our views on teaching and learning was a powerful experience. Many members of the team don’t regularly work with one another, so meeting to discuss these issues brought about other views as we’re all in different roles . Not everyone thinks the same and each member of the team was willing to hear out different perspectives. As a team, we agreed that our school has some great initiatives happening right now. That affirmation was great to hear, but at the same time, we felt that there are steps we need to make to become better. In order to put these initiatives in place the school has to communicate the importance and reasoning behind these proposed changes.
This brought up another discussion about how change will not happen unless stakeholders are truly committed to the cause. Even if they’re committed, the initiative doesn’t reach its full potential unless the organization and individuals have mindsets that are aligned with the initiative. This type of thinking falls in line with Hattie’s Mindframes for Teaching. Teachers have beliefs that impact their teaching. That belief often stems from a self-developed mindframe. Understanding your own mindframe can help stakeholders better define their own role. The mindframes are explained in the video below.
All of these mindframes are discussed in Hattie’s Visible Learning book.
Early in September my school was introduced to the idea of teacher mindframes. A staff meeting was designed to have educators analyze Hattie’s mindframes and reflect on their own. We plan on revisiting this topic throughout the school year. Understanding deep-seeded beliefs about our role in education can help bring awareness to how we think. I believe that thinking impacts instructional decisions that influence student learning.