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Discussion on: The Good, Bad & Ugly in Self Teaching - The Perspective of a Teacher

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Sam Fisher • Edited on

Ryan what’s your view of how this ideal responsibility distribution varies when teaching adults versus children? Were Hattie’s ranking slanted towards one case or the other?

Thanks for the article! Very thought provoking.

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Ryan Doyle Author

I've only read portions of his book/research so I'm not totally certain if his rankings had a particular focus aside from being K-12th grades.

My thoughts and experience definitely lead me to believe that one of the reasons that certain strategies are more/less effective (like problem or inquiry based learning being low) are that most schools do not emphasize teaching students to "learn," but rather they teach to disseminate knowledge. I was actually in a pilot program for a platform initially developed by facebook for Summit schools in the bay area, and it focused a lot on teaching students the skills that would help them be "learners" rather than just remembering information. It placed a lot of responsibility on them, and parents didn't like it very much because the role of a teacher was quite different (more being a mentor) but it's goal was to give students the skills before they just got dropped off in college with 100% of the responsibility on their shoulders. I teach 7th grade, so I think it was a tough transition at that point but I would say in High School on there really needs to be an emphasis of the responsibility of learning being on the student. After all, that's what the reality as adults is.

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Sam Fisher

Thanks for the thoughtful response! Very interesting boundary there. I think learning to be a learner is probably right in there with the development of “thinking for yourself.” I’d like to learn more about the developmental side of that.

I teach adults, and I must say certain elements of Hattie’s list are inverted with what works for them in my experience. I did take away something very useful for the problem based approach though- which is that you can’t practice knowledge you don’t have. Making sure adults have the tools to conquer the independent learning problems and enough structure to have clear direction is crucial.