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.

Keywords: Visible Learning, Evaluation, John Hattie, Constructivism, Philosophy of education