Friday, 19 June 2015


This report is the first of two linked papers by John Hattie on what doesn’t work in education, and then on what does. In this paper he describes the confused jargon and narratives that distract us from the most ambitious and vital aim of schooling: for every student to gain at least a year’s growth for a year’s input. He outlines the policy responses commonly used by systems aspiring to be in the world’s ‘top five’ for education and argues that these responses are ‘fixes’ that fail to address the important questions, and so are unlikely to make a difference, despite costing many billions of dollars. Such responses are part of what Hattie calls the ‘politics of distraction’.

John Hattie is Professor and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Deputy Director of the Science of Learning Research Centre. He is the author of Visible Learning and Visible Learning for Teachers, the co-author (with Gregory C. R. Yates) of Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn and co-editor (with Eric Anderman) of the International Guide to Student Achievement. If you want to read the full report it is available free at

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