Getting that High Probability of Success in your Classroom
If you are like many teachers in this country you probably went to some sort of professional development or training over the summer. You are all fired up, eager to return this fall and give that new idea in your classroom a whirl. You have been planning and scheming this for months! Good for you! High-Five
Put those breaks on and wait right there. First, view this video by Terry Scott.
I am by no means trying to talk you out of that amazing professional development you went to this summer… BUT first, I really, really, REALLY (do you get the point?) want you to consider the probability/effect size of what you are wanting to implement in your classroom. Let’s be frank here- what you are wanting to implement, does it have a high probability of success? How would you be able to find out?
As teachers, we often rely on what looks fun to teach or how we learned in school. Our world is not lacking in educational research, so why as educators are we so quick to ignore research and default to what is comfortable to us?
John Hattie, a researcher in education from Australia, completed an abundance of Meta-Analysis over the past few decades and has published several teacher friendly books on his findings. If you don’t know what a meta-analysis is, it is a statistical compilation of many research studies. The benefits of a meta-analysis are that you have a much larger sample size. For example, with just a sole research study you have a sample size (often called N) of perhaps just a couple hundred students. With a meta-analysis, you have MANY research studies with hundreds of students. See why a meta-analysis has a bit more weight in the research world?
John Hattie defines the “hinge point” of learning to be at about a .40 and is where he defines about a year’s growth for a student. To view Hattie’s effect size chart, you can go here.
I work with so many schools and have attended conferences, presentations and professional development aplenty. I see those bright, fun, shiny new ideas that they dangle in front of teachers. I hear those vendors calling and promising the latest and greatest tool to use in the classroom. They look so fun, they sound so engaging for students, but are they truly what makes us move the needle with students? We absolutely know what has the probability in the classroom to make learning accelerate- we have meta-analysis galore.
Take the time to verify your new idea or school initiative and ensure it has the highest probability for your students so it accelerates learning and helps you work smarter, not harder. Don’t ignore the research- your students deserve having the highest probability of success.