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Published 29th January 2018, 11:27am

This year the Educator’s Seminar 2017-2018, a professional development opportunity organized by the Ministry of Education, featured an introduction to Visible Learning and knowing an educator’s impact in the classroom.

Minister for Education, the Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly stated, “Ms. Kristin Weston delivered a keynote address on Visible Learning that reinforced the importance of the role Educators play in the lives of children. Children are at school for over 7 hours a day and we need to be able to make use of the most effective methods that keep our students on a positive track. Visible Learning is going to allow educators to be more effective and efficient by using tools that achieve the greatest impact. This seminar is only the first step and there is more to come.”

Visible Learning challenges educators to operate from an internal locus of control. In other words, educators identify themselves as change agents and instead of things happening to them, they make things happen. They are encouraged to look at students as challenges that are within their capabilities to reach.

This framework is based on Dr. John Hattie’s research and is one of the largest meta-analysis of educational interventions ever done. With so many fantastic educational tools, it can be overwhelming for an educator or a school to decide what to implement. He was determined to identify the truly effective interventions that have the desired result for a sustained period of time.

Interestingly, the greatest impact is achieved by resources that cannot be purchased. In fact, the greatest influence on effective teaching is having a collective of educators who believe they are effective. The second greatest is a student’s ability to self-report their grades and progress. This indicates that a student is not just being taught, but is an engaged learner who is aware of the learning process and expectations.

During her address, Ms. Weston used a metaphor that compared her personal struggle to run a 5k to that of an educator determined to engage his or her students. Even with the fanciest of sneakers and an amazing running ensemble, the only equipment that is guaranteed to get you across that finish line is hard work, determination, and a belief that you can do it!

Chief Officer Christen Suckoo remarked, “This research reminds educators that they are the greatest instrument in the classroom. The biggest variable for any educational intervention is the educator and the mindset he or she has adopted. Visible Learning quantifies the immense impact educators have on students’ learning and the importance of constantly self-evaluating their teaching practices.”

The Ministry of Education is excited to expose educators to more of the Visible Learning concepts in an effort to help them feel successful every day with every student.