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The More I learn: Project 180, Day 65

I did not start the 180 journey because I had the answers. I started down this road because I wanted answers. I wanted more and better out of education. I wanted more and better out of my students. And I wanted more and better out of myself. So, I set out to make some discoveries in the hopes that when I returned I would arrive more knowledgeable and better suited to give more and  better to my profession and my kids. I’m a long way from home.  And while some days, I fear I’m lost out here on this lonesome road, I find hope in knowing that when I return, despite the challenges both faced and yet to come, I will return, and I will have learned.

And so, I walk. I march forth, seeking to learn from my mistakes and my successes, looking for ways to learn and grow. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of John Hattie’s work around influences on student achievement. It caught my attention as I was scrolling through the Twitterverse, and I paused to take a look. Essentially his years of work is a super-mega meta-analyses of the research literature, which presents the effect size of practices that influence student achievement. Intrigued, I looked a little further and followed a link to his site, Visible Learning, which presented the top-ten influences (by effect size) on student achievement.

  1. Student self-reported grades

  2. Piagetian programs

  3. Response to intervention

  4. Teacher Credibility

  5. Providing formative evaluation

  6. Micro-teaching

  7. Classroom discussion

  8. Comprehensive interventions for learning disabled students

  9. Teacher clarity

  10. Feedback

At the bottom of the page, was a link to buy the book. So, duly intrigued, I clicked, and the book arrived Monday. Last night, I cracked it open. And while it certainly reads like a textbook–as the reviews indicated–and is sufficiently stat heavy, it presents a comprehensive look at statistically significant practices that influence student achievement. And this morning my head is buzzing  with the fresh dissonance of newly discovered information. Noise. But necessary noise, for I know when it settles, I will have learned. I will have made progress. I will have gained more to be better.

Importantly, Hattie doesn’t offer the book as a prescription or program; he offers it as means to develop a frame of mind, a way of thinking about practice and how it influences that which matters most: student achievement. And I am all in. And I am learning. And that is what 180 is about in the end. Not to arrive. I’ll never arrive. But to journey. To boldly go. To learn. To grow. That’s my journey.

But, I am not alone. Lonely, yes. But never alone. I have my supporters, and I have my critics, and I couldn’t do it without either. To my supporters, thank you for seeing me  and believing in me. You give me heart. To my critics, I am sorry that you can’t see me. And I think it is not that I hide. Truly, I put myself out there every day. I am not hiding in the woods. I am walking down the middle of road. I want you to see me. I need you to see me. You feed me. Fire away. I grow stronger every time you do. Thank you.

Happy Wednesday, all.

One Reply to “The More I learn: Project 180, Day 65”

  • You can’t turn back now, the kids need you as much as you need them. Staying in the middle of the road is good, you have worked hard, sliding to the left or right has provided growth, you have always pulled it back as you have traveled down the road.

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