This is one of the key differences in the reform model known as Visible Learning Plus. Visible Learning Plus is a systematic reform model developed by Cognition Learning-New Zealand offered exclusively by Corwin Press in North America. The model is based on the groundbreaking research of Professor John Hattie called Visible Learning (2009). Visible Learning is groundbreaking due to the volume of research based on the synthesis of more than 50,000 research studies containing over a quarter billion student data points. One of the key messages from the research into the core attributes that have the greatest effect on student achievement relate to engaging students in the conversation of what is being learned, how the learning is progressing, and based on this knowledge, what next steps should be taken to meet learning targets or accelerate learning if targets have already been met. Key in this process is the use of student voice through surveys, student focus groups, and interviews. Students are critical stakeholders in helping all adults in the school evaluate the effects of the school on learning and make adjustments where evidence dictates improvement is needed. Evidence about students perceptions of safety for making mistakes (creating an environment for learning to thrive), perceptions of the effectiveness of feedback that provides real time information students find useful, and clarifying learning intentions/success criteria all provide valuable feedback critical for making decisions to improve schools on the core attributes that Hattie’s research found have the greatest impact on student achievement.
Engaging student voice on aspects at a deeper level than traditional schools have in the past can help to take student learning and school effectiveness to new heights. Going further, the key is not to simply to elicit the evidence from students, but also being willing to “listen” to what students are saying and act on the evidence to make real changes when a totality of the evidence suggests that it is not “more” that is needed, but “different.”
How does your school or system honor student voice and use this valuable feedback to improve critical aspects of schooling?
Is student voice used to improve the effectiveness of deeper level aspects of schooling (feedback, clarity of learning intentions/success criteria, and environment for learning, etc.) or more of the surface level aspects (prom theme, yearbook cover, and etc.)?
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible Learning. New York, NY; Routledge Press.
Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning for Teachers. New York, NY; Routledge Press.