What can concerned parents and carers do to ensure their children, of all ages, develop great learning habits which will help them achieve their maximum at school and in life? This is probably one of the most important questions any parent can ask and now John Hattie, one of the most respected and renowned Education researchers in the world draws on his globally famous Visible Learning research to provide some answers.
Writing this book with his own son Kyle, himself a respected teacher, the Hatties offer a 10-step plan to nurturing curiosity and intellectual ambition and providing a home environment that encourages and values learning. These simple steps based on the strongest of research evidence and packed full of practical advice can be followed by any parent or carer to support and enhance learning and maximize the potential of their children. Areas covered include:
- Communicating effectively with teachers
- Being the ‘first learner’ and demonstrating openness to new ideas and thinking
- Choosing the right school for your child
- Promoting the ‘language of learning’
- Having appropriately high expectations and understanding the power of feedback
Anyone concerned about the education and development of our children should read this book. For parents it is an essential guide that could make a vital difference to your child's life. For schools, school leaders and education authorities this is a book you should be encouraging every parent to read to support learning and maximize opportunities for all.
The Main Messages - The 10 mind frames
Part I: Setting the scene
Mind frame 1: I have appropriately high expectations
- Children are born into a world of expectations
- The Goldilocks principle of expectations and encouragement
- Attachment builds expectations
Mind frame 2: I make reasonable demands and am highly responsive to my child
- I am a reasonable and listening parent
- The importance of developing self-determination
- It’s not stress, it’s coping strategies
Mind frame 3: I am not alone
- The child is bought up in a village – now a huge village
- The power of others
- Teenagers want to be with their friends more than with their parents
Part II: The foundations to develop learners
Mind frame 4: I develop my child’s skill, will and sense of thrill
- Developing the skill – working memory and executive functioning
- Developing the will – confidence and growth mindset
- Developing the thrill – passion and investment
Mind frame 5: I love learning
- The brain is developing from conception to cremation.
- The role of play in learning
- What is learning – the message from computer games
Mind frame 6: I know the power of feedback and success thrives on errors
- The power of feedback and reacting to errors
- The role of praise
- Learning and feedback feed on errors
PART III: Learning and schooling
Mind frame 7: I am a parent not a teacher
- You are a parent not a school teacher
- Developing the language of learning
- How to choose a school
Mind frame 8: I expose my child to language, language, language
- Language, language, language
- The early years maybe should not predict later success
- The language of learning
Part IV. The big picture story
Mind frame 9: I appreciate that my child is not perfect, nor am I
- Do not be a helicopter, snow plow but an open to learning parent
- Developing the dignity of risk
- Teaching your child to say no.
Mind frame 10: I am an evaluator of my impact
- It’s about impact
- You know more than you think you do
- There is no one right way.
Appendix The evidence
"John Hattie has devoted his life to helping children learn—and enjoy learning. This book is chock full of great ideas for how parents can help their children become eager and effective learners."
Carol Dweck, author of ‘Mindset’ and Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, US
"A provocative new look at how parents can best support their children’s learning underpinned by both in depth research evidence and hands on parenting. From the man who used mass research to show teachers how to get the best out of their teaching and his schoolteacher son, an irresistible combination and a fascinating insight for parents."
Wendy Berliner, author of ‘Great Minds and How to Grow Them’ and ‘How to Succeed at School’
"The most precious gift we can give our children is the confidence, capacity and appetite for learning. To not shy away from things that are challenging, changing and complicated is the foundation for a fulfilling and adventurous life. But how best to lay that foundation? In their new book, father and son team John and Kyle Hattie offer sound, practical advice that is based on an irresistible blend of solid scholarship and wise first-hand experience. One of the best parenting books I have ever read."
Guy Claxton, author of The Learning Power Approach and The Future of Teaching
"As a father of three and an educationalist, I have read many books on family education. When I got John and Kyle Hattie's manuscript to read, something happened that has never happened before: I couldn't stop reading! From my point of view, the book is a treasure trove of helpful hints and vivid examples, full of life experience and scientific foundation. The latter is worth emphasising from my point of view: everything that is presented in the book can be scientifically proven - and that without having a scientific duct. In my opinion, this makes the book stand out in the long line of parenting guides that often spread more myths than truths. In other words, it is a book in which research and practice merge and parents get the help they need to give their children the best possible education."
Klaus Zierer, Professor of Education, University of Augsburg, Germany
Praise received for John Hattie’s previous work:
"Reveals teaching’s ‘holy grail"
Times Educational Supplement
"John Hattie has made a supersized contribution to the improvement of learning. Visible Learning came crashing on the scene in 2009 and got the attention of all of us. What I especially like is how Hattie and team continue to be internally critical and externally open to considering all possibilities. Their new series in search of ’the Gold Standard’ is typical of Hattie’s commitment and skill in processing criticism and modelling continuous learning and improvement. A million books! Congratulations for a monumental achievement and the promise of more, and more"
Michael Fullan, OC. Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto.
"I’m not sure John knows his own impact - I can’t think of anyone in education on this planet with a higher effect size. We teachers needed a sieve to sort the research that helps teachers make a difference, from the research that doesn’t. John provided it and now we all know how to increase our own impact. Thank you John!"
Geoff Petty, Author of ‘Teaching Today’ and ‘Evidence-Based Teaching’
"Education research suffers from an embarrassment of riches—there’s too much of it! John Hattie has been a resolute leader in summarizing this wealth of information into practical terms that are digestible yet reliably capture the essence. Better still, they translate readily to classroom practice! Hattie’s success and influence are richly deserved."
Dan Willingham, Professor of Psychology, University of West Virginia, author of ‘Why Don’t Students Like School?’
"Everything changed when Visible Learning revealed the key messages from research into influences on learning. Thousands of studies brought together confirmed what we must focus on … educators across the world continue to have a reference point for what matters in guiding thinking and practice."
Shirley Clarke, Author of ‘Unlocking Formative Assessment’ and ‘Thinking Classrooms’
"John Hattie's contributions to generations of students, teachers, and educational leaders around the world are profound and lasting. He has that rare combination of courage and humility, fearlessly challenging conventional wisdom while continually improving and expanding his work. He makes our profession and the world of education better, and children on every continent benefit from his scholarship, wisdom, and practical guidance."
Douglas Reeves, Creative Leadership.net
"Hattie’s work enables us to see the effects of what teachers do in the classroom. His work on lesson preparation is one of those must-reads for all teachers. In teaching we are often looking for those light-bulb moments of illumination. Hattie has mapped the hidden wiring."
Huw Thomas, Former Headteacher, college lecturer and Diocesan Director of Education
"In a world where educators are often tempted and encouraged to utilize the latest fads to support student learning, John Hattie’s Visible Learning books serve as exceptional resources. Every practicing teacher, school administrator, and education researcher should have these books on their shelves."
Eric M. Anderman, Professor of Educational Psychology, The Ohio State University
"John Hattie has a dream that one day every child learns not by chance, but by design. He has a dream that one day the expertise which is all around us gets together and changes the system. He has a dream that one day teachers ask themselves the powerful question "What works best?" instead of only "What works". And he has a dream that one day teachers always seek maximum impact. And – most important – he lives his dream. He has started the fire with his passion. He sparked the learning. And he sparked the teaching. Congratulations John and: Know your impact!"
Klaus Zierer, Professor of Education, University of Augsburg, Germany, and Associate Research Fellow of the ESRC-funded Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) at the University of Oxford
"10 Steps to Develop Great Learners is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, school district, college, and university library Education Psychology and Parenting collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists."
Midwest Book Review