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This article poses a number of critical questions to John Hattie’s work about visible learning and the so-called 'Hattie revolution', which presently dominates Danish educational debate. This article analyzes and discusses Hattie’s methodological presupposition and a number of the theoretical assumptions on which Hattie’s work is founded. It is argued that the large number of meta-analyses which Hattie uses in his work do not only function as scientific documentation, but also as rhetorical components in discussions about what the problems and the solutions might be in today’s educational system. A central aim in Hattie’s work is to develop a theory about what constitutes good learning and good teaching based on the evidence-based measures from a large number of meta-analyses. In the paper, however, we question if this aim is realized in Hattie’s own work.
Nøkkelord: Hattie, Method, Visible Learning, Teaching
This paper discusses John Hattie's influential theory of Visible Learning. It argues that five interacting factors take the theory away from education, resulting instead in a closed, centralized and evaluative system. First, it is argued that Visible Learning is basically a theory of evaluation that reduces matters of education to evaluational activity. Second, it is argued that the definition of the dependent variable ‘learning’ is inadequate. Third, Visible Learning is a theory of teaching in the horizon of radical constructivism. Thus, all problems attached to constructivist learning are transferred into Hattie’s concept of teaching. The consequence is a concept of teaching where environment, content and tradition are, at best, reduced to atomized elements of learning and where matters of Bildung are reconstructed as ‘self-monitoring’. Fourth, this article points to an inherent tendency to centralism in Hattie's theory of feedback. Finally, fifth, this article argues that Hattie misunderstands Karl Popper’s three world theory.
This article examines and discusses how successful teachers develop professionally and relate this process to theory and practice. It elucidates some further aspects of an earlier longitudinal, praxis-oriented study in excellence that was carried out over a period of seven years in a nine-year Swedish compulsory school (Tjernberg, 2013). That case study was based on classroom observations and follow-up discussions to create consciousness of learning processes among the teachers and the researcher. According to the teachers in this study, the focus of pedagogical research is seldom on pedagogical practices, which means that they are not felt to be important. In contrast, the research is seen to be important if it has an inside perspective, using mutual and continuous communication between the pupils, themselves, and the researcher. One main finding is that a researcher can contribute to theorising and putting into words the teachers’ pedagogical practices. At the same time, the researcher is able to deepen her or his research into issues that arise from the teachers’ practices and knowledge. These two conditions are in turn necessary for the individual pupil to develop her or his proximal learning, which leads to further research questions. In this article, the term ‘triple learning process’ is used to describe this interaction.
The Nordic countries have a long tradition of participatory approaches to research and development, which organizes the cooperation between participants in different ways. Research circles are one of these forms of organization. Based on an empirical analysis of two research circles in a Danish RD project, this article focuses on the researcher's role, actions and challenges. The analysis focuses on the researcher as a co-creator of research circles. The analysis conclude that the researcher has the opportunity to negotiate the resources for participation for all participants in the research circle and that she assumes the responsibility for the organization of the circle meetings, their content and conduct. The researcher's actions and 'managerial’ work in the research circles affect the participants' experience of research circles as a democratic knowledge creation process. Discussions on participatory methods are seen as relevant to collaboration between universities, University Colleges (høgskola) and practices in research and development projects.