“Me teaching! You Learning!” – When Teaching Meets Learning@NB2B conference in Swaffham

Thank you to Denise and Norfolk Better to Best for bringing in Laura Kearney, Mark Burns et al. to present research from John Hattie, great reflections on developing teachers and teaching practice through Visible Learning and Outstanding Teaching, and especially relevant to my own work, SOLO Taxonomy.

I plan to break up the conference into a series of posts and present them integrated with the ongoing production of articles on Stalham Academy’s journey to top 500, which would be highly relevant due to the incredible overlap between the ideas presented at the conference and Stalham’s use of Cooperative Learning. For example, based on a great number of meta-data, Laura gave evidence that Mr Howard’s very hands-on approach in the classroom is the way to go.


Here, Laura differentiated between the Transitional and Instructional leader, the first one a visionary looking at the far horizon, the latter taking a wrench to immediate problems (my paraphrase!). I could see a lot of attending heads got a surprise when it turned out how much more effective the Instructional leader is. 0.40 vs 0.19, in fact (We’ll look at what these numbers mean in detail later).  And that was one of the things I liked most about their approach, that like me, they work with the good practice already in place, rather than re-inventing the wheel.




Laura’s data is extracted from John Hattie’s famous book “Visible Learning – a Synthesis of 800 Meta-Analysis” (Amazon). Hattie is one of the Grand Old Men of student-centred learning, and his book basically analyzes and prioritises the impact of 100s of factors on learning, including ethnic diversity, homework, IBL, and use of various equipment.


Though much of the other data presented confirmed general assumptions, and specifically what we know about the components that make Cooperative Learning so effective, such as metacognition, some things really came as a surprise, and I got quite inspired to sit down with this book from a new angle.


An upcoming theme here at cooperativelearning.works will be precisely that data, and what it means to schools who are, or plan to get, engaged with Cooperative Learning – and the very real impact of what Mark termed “the Perception Gap” on school improvement and research itself.

Me teaching! You Learning! Metacognition is not just for pupils, Tarzan! Speakers brought that one home.

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