Podcast Episode 18: Doug and Ed Read the Literature

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In this episode we discuss two important papers in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The first, written by John Hattie in 2003, identifies what characteristics distinguish expert teachers from other teachers. The second, by Hattie and his colleague Helen Timperley (2007), investigates what kinds of feedback are most effective.

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Show Notes

0:00 Intro

1:13 Who is John Hattie? We said he was still teaching at the University of Auckland, but he has actually been Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne since 2011.

2:16 What is a meta-analysis?

3:28 A qualification about technicalities.

4:17 Evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning.

5:02 The first paper: “Distinguishing Expert Teachers from Novice and Experienced Teachers

5:35 What influences student achievement gains? Did Hattie really review 500,000 articles?

7:05 Caveat: This is research on K-12 teaching.

7:49 What does it mean to “account for variance” in student achievement gains? Variation in teachers accounts for 30% of the variation in student achievement.

11:32 What are the characteristics of expert teachers? Not just experienced or novice teachers.

13:35 Hattie’s five dimensions of excellent teachers.

14:45 Expert teachers can “identify essential representations of their subject.” Examples from our recent episodes.

17:57 Expert teachers improvise as needed: they don’t “stick to the lesson plan.”

20:47 Focusing the essential representations can be challenging when you are highly knowledgeable.

22:42 Subject matter expertise is not important to good teaching? In higher ed?

26:20 Expert teachers monitor learning and feedback.

29:11 Attending all the discussion sections and modeling “ordinary human” skills.

31:26 There are different optimal classroom environments for different people.

32:08 The Power of Feedback” by Hattie and Timperley. Feedback has an effect size of 1.13–and what that means.

35:43 Feedback in a lecture/section, two-paper/exam course.

36:33 Feedback is a two-way street: We learn from students what is working and what’s not.

37:28 Turning four types of feedback into teaching techniques.

41:52 Thinking of the learner as an economic agent.

42:46 A change Doug made to his students’ group research project.

44:32 Is the student balancing gain and loss?

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