Special Issue "Visible Learning – What’s next? A Decade after An Educational Milestone"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Klaus Zierer

Ordinarius für Schulpädagogik, Universität Augsburg, Universitätsstraße 10, 86159 Augsburg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: instruction; learning; teaching; visible learning; meta-analyses

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Hardly any other work has been so widely discussed in recent years as John Hattie's Visible Learning.  Times Educational Supplement spoke of this book relating to the Holy Grail was released in 2008, and after ten years it is time to review and re-evaluate this work and its impact. The following questions are of particular interest here:

  • What is special about "Visible Learning" and how can we trace the history of its origins to this day?
  • In retrospect, how can the reception of "Visible Learning" in the scientific community be portrayed?
  • In retrospect, how can the reception of "Visible Learning" be presented in practice?
  • In which are as of pedagogy has "Visible Learning" already brought about sustainable changes?
  • What are the core messages from "Visible Learning" that have received little attention so far?
  • What criticism was made of "Visible Learning" – which criticism was justified and which criticism was unjustified?
  • What is the future of a synthesis of meta-analysis?

The Special Issue of Education Science addresses these questions and is the first international journal to dedicate its own issue to the work of John Hattie. 

Prof. Dr. Klaus Zierer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Blindness in Seeing: A Philosophical Critique of the Visible Learning Paradigm in Education
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010047
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
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Abstract
An international consensus seems to have developed in educational research—and among educational planners and policymakers—during the last 10–15 years proclaiming that learning is, and must be, a visible phenomenon. This paper questions this predominant view and serves an assemblage of points offering educational [...] Read more.
An international consensus seems to have developed in educational research—and among educational planners and policymakers—during the last 10–15 years proclaiming that learning is, and must be, a visible phenomenon. This paper questions this predominant view and serves an assemblage of points offering educational scientists at least four profound perspectives to reflect upon. First of all, learning is not immediately visible to the learning subject. It demands and deserves a qualitative lifelong perspective and—not to be underestimated—autonomous reflections to come to know and acknowledge what learning is and can be in an existential perspective. For the individual, it is always worth asking the question whether or not the things ‘learned’ in the first place were worth learning. Secondly, no one can examine the complex synaptic wiring process in the changeable and ‘learning’ brain (i.e., human neuroplasticity); the body-phenomenological depths and growth of a human being; or the manifold processes constituting the totality of historical social interactions surrounding the learning process and reduce them to something simple and already ‘known’ (a figure, a score, an effect, an answer in a test, an evaluation statement, etc). Thirdly, so-called visible learning for teachers has to be differentiated from both conscious and unconscious learning for pupils and students. The attempts to objectify and sometimes even instrumentalize learning risk running into obvious problems and fostering serious mistakes. Besides, the teacher and the ‘learner’ do not share the same perspectives and they often also have different interests. Fourthly, the concept of learning is not a value-neutral term and should only be used with an awareness of its historical development as a concept. I will argue that character formation—edification of character (Bildung), in light of the rich German geisteswissenschaftliche tradition—and the capability to think and become a vivid language user and creator demand much more than learning. Moreover, teaching is much more than a method to ‘produce’ learning, and to reproduce learning goals, and the purpose of education must transcend a teleological implementation of strategic national and international learning goals. In this paper, the revitalized concept of Bildung both serves as a critique of the visible learning paradigm and as a take-off of an alternative and more fertile way to conceptualize the task and possibilities of education. The line of the argument and ambition of the paper is to depict how blindness seems to be an inevitable part of educational seeing. The thesis is that powerful scientific and political adherents of learning cannot see what they cannot see—neither when they see what they (think they) see, nor when they do not see what they do not (want to) see. Full article
Open AccessArticle Implementing High-Leverage Influences from the Visible Learning Synthesis: Six Supporting Conditions
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040215
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
Even though there is a plethora of research that can be used by educators to inform their practice, the deep implementation of evidence-based strategies remains unrealized in many schools and classrooms. The question we set out to answer was: What conditions help encourage [...] Read more.
Even though there is a plethora of research that can be used by educators to inform their practice, the deep implementation of evidence-based strategies remains unrealized in many schools and classrooms. The question we set out to answer was: What conditions help encourage educators to implement and adapt evidence from the Visible Learning synthesis when they encounter it? We examined two examples of the reception of the Visible Learning research in schools and identified the following six key conditions that helped foster the translation of the Visible Learning research into classroom practice in ways that demonstrated measurable impact on student learning: (1) The presence of a learning methodology; (2) clear examples of how to apply the strategies; (3) a ‘knowledgeable other’ to help assist educators in processing the research; (4) a supportive organizational environment; (5) the recognition of educators as agents of influence, and (6) the monitoring and adjustment of implementation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Teacher Mindframes from an Educational Science Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040209
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
In this article, we describe the philosophical and the scientific background of teacher mindframes and we argue that educational professionalism consists not only of ability and knowledge (competence), but also of will and judgement (attitudes). To back up our argument, we present the [...] Read more.
In this article, we describe the philosophical and the scientific background of teacher mindframes and we argue that educational professionalism consists not only of ability and knowledge (competence), but also of will and judgement (attitudes). To back up our argument, we present the results of our current research project on this matter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Long View of Visible Learning’s Impact
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040174
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
In this article, we address the common criticisms of the Visible Learning research and offer a long-term view of the potential presented with this body of knowledge. We contextualize our view with some experiences in a high school that is focused on improving [...] Read more.
In this article, we address the common criticisms of the Visible Learning research and offer a long-term view of the potential presented with this body of knowledge. We contextualize our view with some experiences in a high school that is focused on improving student learning. Full article

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Open AccessCommentary Using the Visible Learning Research to Influence Collaborative Leadership
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040219
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
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Abstract
John Hattie’s Visible Learning research has been read, dissected, and implemented by educators and leaders around the world. Whether it’s the effect sizes or the influences that challenge the thinking of the status quo, the Visible Learning research has taken a place in [...] Read more.
John Hattie’s Visible Learning research has been read, dissected, and implemented by educators and leaders around the world. Whether it’s the effect sizes or the influences that challenge the thinking of the status quo, the Visible Learning research has taken a place in many educational conversations. Over the last three years, the author of this paper has been researching and implementing the Visible Learning research, and used some of the findings to create a leadership workshop that focused on six of the influences that Hattie has been studying for years. The point of using the six influences he focused on was that based on the author’s knowledge of leadership through his experience as a teacher and building leader, as well as his understanding and research around school climate, there were six areas that all leaders should understand deeply if they are to have a positive impact on student learning. Full article
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