A year’s growth; how do we develop agreement?

A recent tweet pointed me to a brief talk by John Hattie arguing for a year’s growth in a year for all our students. The challenge is in bringing about the conditions in our schools to enable our educators to agree upon what a year’s growth looks like. Note the emphasis on agree upon, which necessitates collaboration.

In June 2015 Hattie published two significant papers, The Politics of Collaborative Expertise and The Politics of Distraction. The former is the source of advice for answering the question above and, as such, is deserving of leadership attention in terms of structural decisions to bring about the conditions in which educators can come to agreement on this essential question.

Hattie has 8 suggestions, four of which are:

  • Task 1: Shift the narrative – Reframe the conversation to focus on progress
  • Task 2: Secure agreement about what a year’s progress looks like – Debate and create a shared understanding of “progress”
  • Task 3:  Expect a year’s worth of progress – Expectations are one of the greatest influences on learning and achievement
  • Task 4: Develop tools to provide feedback to teachers – Evaluation tools should shape learning rather than simply measure it.

Because we cannot do everything, at once, which of these would you the priority task in your context?

Which one are you most curious about?

What role does assessment play in any of these tasks?


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