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John Hattie on enquiry-based learning

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Many people will be aware of Professor Hattie and his important meta-study of what works best in education but as the above short video was published only last week, 9th November 2015, I thought this might be a useful time to break the news to some others that enquiry-based learning in schools is a waste of time.
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Makes sense to me...

    Although he wasn't saying it's a waste of time. He's saying in its present form it is a waste of time as teachers introduce it too early and haven't given the pupils the content that they need, the ideas they need, to enable decent enquiry.

    Least that seemed to be what he was saying.
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I think it needs to be taken in context, and the current school context from start to finish largely ignores facts & ideas but is instead consistently constructivist in its expectation that students discover knowledge. Enquiry is only useful episodically for the purposes of synthesis.

    Did you use EBL and notice any improvement in student grades?
    Katierobertson and colpee like this.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Agreeing with you there... it is taken out of context. It's used as a fix-all tool when it is really a very specific tool that needs to be built towards.

    Yeah used it. Worked well in 6th form with guidance. Not at KS3-4. In History we didn't get the lesson time needed to really make it work. Had no impact. But SLT they loved their group work, so it was a staple observation lesson.
    Katierobertson likes this.
  5. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Gave you a like for that. It must be good but I have read it six times and I am still completely stumped :(:(
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  6. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    The whole school ethos where I work is EBL and I can tell you without any recourse to Hattie that it is rubbish. School uses it as a marketing tool and calls itself an EBL school, but frankly I am surprised parents are taken in by it, or teachers ( no maybe not teachers, they are a naive lot generally) . I try not to use it myself but I pay it lots of lip service. I did use it one year because one kids parent complained ( a Head Teacher by the way) - worst set of exam results I have ever had in my life.

    If you are going to do it , use it little and make sure you only get the kids to learn something you have already told them. Its an enormous waste of time and resources. Not very cost effective.
    Katierobertson and lanokia like this.
  7. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    My whole thing - discuss it from a basis of having a freaking factual clue what you're talking about. And facts have to be learned and assimilated before you tell me what you think of them.
    lanokia likes this.
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I was instructed to use EBL last year... lots of enquiries, group work yadda yadda. HoD came in checked I was doing it so couldn't really get away from it.

    Worst results ever. Job lost. Was EBL [or the HoD] blamed? Were they ****! hahahaha

    Systems man, it's all systems.
    Katierobertson likes this.
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Your parenthetical is increasingly true as higher education becomes more popular so higher degrees are less evidential of a person's comprehension of the formal ideas that are significant to their lives.
  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I look forward to reading more from you on this.
    lanokia likes this.
  11. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Did any of you listen to this? It seemed to cause a stir at the time:


    When I was at school, we were just told things, and often copied things from text books. Lessons are arguably "better" now - I've never seen a student copying from a book since I've been a teacher, for example - but do you think that students now are better-educated than we were? I think not.

    Obviously experience is a factor, but I often find that grandparents are better at Maths than my students, and even on yesterday's Apprentice Alan Sugar mentioned "integral calculus".
    TEA2111 and Vince_Ulam like this.
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

  13. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  14. iicklemonkey3

    iicklemonkey3 New commenter

    Thank you for posting this interview. I am a Primary student teacher and currently teaching in Year 3/4 at my placement school. This discussion has been very interesting to read, as my school is very hot on enquiry-based learning. SLT encourage it to be used across the curriculum, especially in maths.

    I have been researching John Hattie as part of an assignment and had been wondering why the effect size for EDL was so low, but interest in it among educators was so high. Hattie would suggest that it is effective if used in the right context and at the right time once the foundations have been laid for the topic they are learning. Perhaps the effect size is so low due to the the pressures laid on by schools' leadership teams, yet training is not given to teachers on when or how to use it effectively? I feel this is going to help me in my own practice now, as I will only use it where students have a solid surface knowledge, and as one poster suggested...sparingly.
  15. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You will find that the louder a person advocates for EBL so the further they are removed from any responsibility for real educational outcomes. This is one of the several reasons why EBL is popular in Primary, especially with Primary SLT.
    lanokia likes this.
  16. darklord11

    darklord11 Occasional commenter

    Having seen "are our kids tough enough " where several Chinese teachers taught or passed on knowledge to kids from a so called outstanding school ( kids behaviour at times was disgusting). These children out shone their peers who probably had all this EBL bullsh@t style of learning, which probably works well with older more mature students than with kids at high school.
    As all these so called experts know best then they should be demonstrating their skills in the classroom on a daily basis. Utter muppets who don't have a clue but want hard working teachers to follow every fad they come across.
    Here's an idea every inspector or consultant must complete one full term teaching full time in a state school every year. Soon see the end of initiatives.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    If anyone is interested in reading more by Daisy Christodoulou then please visit her excellent blog The Wing To Heaven. Explore her archives and you will find a great deal to interest you, confirming or challenging your own views & practice but not easily dismissed.

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