Edu-Quote: John Hattie on Powerful Teachers #3

In The Confident Teacher by Alex Quigley1 Comment


I am writing a series of short posts that quote directly from educators who have inspired my thinking about education and more. Here is the first edu-quote for your reading pleasure.

John Hattie, in his ‘Visible Learning’ series, has forwarded the use of evidence in education like few others. People rightly debate the efficacy of some of the research, but there is the proverbial ‘gold in them there hills’ regardless. In his excellent ‘Visible Learning for Teachers’ he presents signposts of what good teachers do. They provide a useful debating point:

“The messages in ‘Visible Learning’ are not another recipe for success, another quest for certainty, another masking of untruth. There is no recipe, no professional development set of worksheets, no new teaching method, and no band-aid remedy. It is a way of thinking: ‘My role, as teacher, is to evaluate the effect I have on my students.’ It is to ‘know thy impact’, it is to understand this impact, and it is to act on this knowing and understanding. Is requires that teachers gather defensible and dependable evidence from many sources, and hold collaborative discussions with colleagues and students about this evidence, this making the effect of their teaching visible to themselves and others.

Powerful, passionate, accomplished teachers are those who:

– focus on students’ cognitive engagement with the content of what it is that is being taught;
– focus on developing a way of thinking and reasoning that emphasises problem-solving and teaching strategies relating to the content that they wish students to learn;
– focus on imparting new knowledge and understanding, and then monitor how students gain fluency and appreciation in this new knowledge;
– focus on providing feedback in an appropriate and timely manner to help students to attain the worthwhile goals of the lesson;
– seek feedback about their effect on the progress and proficiency of all their students;
– have deep understanding about how we learn; and
– focus on seeking learning through the eyes of students, appreciating their fits and starts in learning, and their often non-linear progressions to the goals, supporting their deliberate practice, providing feedback about their errors and misdirections, and caring that the students get to the goals and that the students share the teacher’s passion for the material being learnt.”

(P19-20, ‘Visible Learning for Teachers’ by John Hattie)


  1. As ever great read. The Sutton Trusts translation of what works perhaps has taken people’s eyes off Hattie/Nuthall. Hattie’s latest work has simplified for teachers what they need to offer professionally. Most of Hattie’s list that works remains grouped in the vanity of small differences. A group of educators committed to the yoke can make anything happen…
    … until the extra energy of novelty expires.

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