Video Podcast Interview Collaborating with your Administrators on Professional Development Goals

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
– Ken Blanchard

Recently I was on a video podcast interview with other educational leaders around the country. On the episode of the TechEducator Podcast I was one of three administrators interviewed with technology coaches & educators on the importance of having a strong relationship between the principal (or admin) and the technology coach. It was a great conversation about
leadership, technology, training, support, culture, relationships, recent leadership books, and overall educational excellence.

It was a treat joining Jeff, Sam and Jennifer!

The TechEducator Podcast is a weekly round table discussion about current topics in educational technology.

For more information, please visit

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Twitter: @TechEdShow
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Jeff Bradbury – – @TeacherCast
Sam Patterson – – @SamPatue
Jennifer Judkins – – @JennJudkins

The video is shared at

The video may start in the middle, if it does, just slide it back to the start.

About Our Guests

Jennifer Schwanke

Jen Schwanke began her career as a language arts educator eighteen years ago. She has worked at both the elementary and secondary level as a teacher and administrator. A graduate instructor in educational leadership, she has written frequently for
literacy and educational publications and presents at literacy and leadership conferences. She is the author of the book, You’re The Principal: Now What? Strategies and Solutions for New School Leaders.

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.

Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109). Mike earned his Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago, where his published dissertation was on Effective Instruction in Middle School Social Studies. He is also on the adjunct faculty at National Louis University in the Department of Educational Leadership. Mike has earned an IASA School of Advanced Leadership Fellowship and he has also graduated from the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program. He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. He and Nick Polyak co-authored The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (2017 Rowman & Littlefield). Mike has been married to his wife Stephanie for the past 13 years and they have two children.

Twitter: @mikelubelfeld
District on Twitter: @DPS109
District Hashtag: #Engage109
Voxer: mikelubelfeld
Periscope: @mikelubelfeld
LinkedIn: Michael Lubelfeld
Nick Polyak, Ed.D.

Dr. Polyak is the proud superintendent of the award-winning Leyden Community High School District 212. He earned his undergraduate degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, his Masters from Governors State University, and his Ed.D. from Loyola University Chicago. Nick has been a classroom teacher and coach, a building and district level administrator, a School Board member, and a superintendent for the past seven years in both central Illinois and suburban Chicago. Nick has earned an IASA School of Advanced Leadership Fellowship and he also graduated from the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program. He can be found on Twitter at @npolyak and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. Nick has been married to his wife Kate for the past 16 years and they have four children.

Twitter: @npolyak
District on Twitter: @leydenpride
District Hashtag: #leydenpride
Voxer: npolya154
Periscope: @npolyak
LinkedIn: Nick Polyak
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What is your Longpath? Thinking about the Future – TED Talk – #engage109

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”
– Laird Hamilton

In this post I’m sharing a TED talk that I enjoyed, and I believe serves as a good reminder for our fast “immediate” world. Ari Wallach’s talk caused me to think about reflection, he asks …”to what end”, how far out do we think? The speaker, Ari Wallach has a good message. Reactions/Responses are always welcome.

Tomorrow I’m joining hundreds of other Illinois Superintendents with Tweets, emails, blog posts, etc. in support of a LONG TERM IL funding solution; for too long we in IL Education have been victims of the short term.

So I’ve been “futuring,” which is a term I made up —
about three seconds ago. I’ve been futuring for about 20 years, and when I first started, I would sit down with people, and say, “Hey, let’s talk 10, 20 years out.” And they’d say, “Great.” And I’ve been seeing that time horizon get shorter and shorter and shorter, so much so that I met with a CEO two months ago and I said — we started our initial conversation. He goes, “I love what you do. I want to talk about the next six months.”
We have a lot of problems that we are facing. These are civilizational-scale problems. The issue though is, we can’t solve them using the mental models that we use right now to try and solve these problems. Yes, a lot of great technical work is being done, but there is a problem that we need to solve for a priori, before, if we want to really move the needle on those big problems. “Short-termism.” Right? There’s no marches. There’s no bracelets. There’s no petitions that you can sign to be against short-termism. I tried to put one up, and no one signed. It was weird.
But it prevents us from doing so much. Short-termism, for many reasons, has pervaded every nook and cranny of our reality. I just want you to take a second and just think about an issue that you’re thinking, working on. It could be personal, it could be at work or it could be move-the-needle world stuff, and think about how far out you tend to think about the solution set for that.
Because short-termism prevents the CEO from buying really expensive safety equipment. It’ll hurt the bottom line. So we get the Deepwater Horizon. Short-termism prevents teachers from spending quality one-on-one time with their students. So right now in America, a high school student drops out every 26 seconds. Short-termism prevents Congress — sorry if there’s anyone in here from Congress —
or not really that sorry —
from putting money into a real infrastructure bill. So what we get is the I-35W bridge collapse over the Mississippi a few years ago, 13 killed. It wasn’t always like this. We did the Panama Canal. We pretty much have eradicated global polio. We did the transcontinental railroad, the Marshall Plan. And it’s not just big, physical infrastructure problems and issues. Women’s suffrage, the right to vote. But in our short-termist time, where everything seems to happen right now and we can only think out past the next tweet or timeline post, we get hyper-reactionary.
So what do we do? We take people who are fleeing their war-torn country, and we go after them. We take low-level drug offenders, and we put them away for life. And then we build McMansions without even thinking about how people are going to get between them and their job. It’s a quick buck.
Now, the reality is, for a lot of these problems, there are some technical fixes, a lot of them. I call these technical fixes sandbag strategies. So you know there’s a storm coming, the levee is broken, no one’s put any money into it, you surround your home with sandbags. And guess what? It works. Storm goes away, the water level goes down, you get rid of the sandbags, and you do this storm after storm after storm. And here’s the insidious thing. A sandbag strategy can get you reelected. A sandbag strategy can help you make your quarterly numbers.
Now, if we want to move forward into a different future than the one we have right now, because I don’t think we’ve hit — 2016 is not peak civilization.
There’s some more we can do. But my argument is that unless we shift our mental models and our mental maps on how we think about the short, it’s not going to happen.
So what I’ve developed is something called “longpath,” and it’s a practice. And longpath isn’t a kind of one-and-done exercise. I’m sure everyone here at some point has done an off-site with a lot of Post-It notes and whiteboards, and you do — no offense to the consultants in here who do that — and you do a long-term plan, and then two weeks later, everyone forgets about it. Right? Or a week later. If you’re lucky, three months. It’s a practice because it’s not necessarily a thing that you do. It’s a process where you have to revisit different ways of thinking for every major decision that you’re working on. So I want to go through those three ways of thinking.
So the first: transgenerational thinking. I love the philosophers: Plato, Socrates, Habermas, Heidegger. I was raised on them. But they all did one thing that didn’t actually seem like a big deal until I really started kind of looking into this. And they all took, as a unit of measure for their entire reality of what it meant to be virtuous and good, the single lifespan, from birth to death. But here’s a problem with these issues: they stack up on top of us, because the only way we know how to do something good in the world is if we do it between our birth and our death. That’s what we’re programmed to do. If you go to the self-help section in any bookstore, it’s all about you. Which is great, unless you’re dealing with some of these major issues. And so with transgenerational thinking, which is really kind of transgenerational ethics, you’re able to expand how you think about these problems, what is your role in helping to solve them.
Now, this isn’t something that just has to be done at the Security Council chamber. It’s something that you can do in a very kind of personal way. So every once in a while, if I’m lucky, my wife and I like to go out to dinner, and we have three children under the age of seven. So you can imagine it’s a very peaceful, quiet meal.
So we sit down and literally all I want to do is just eat and chill, and my kids have a completely and totally different idea of what we’re going to be doing. And so my first idea is my sandbag strategy, right? It’s to go into my pocket and take out the iPhone and give them “Frozen” or some other bestselling game thing. And then I stop and I have to kind of put on this transgenerational thinking cap. I don’t do this in the restaurant, because it would be bizarre, but I have to — I did it once, and that’s how I learned it was bizarre.
And you have to kind of think, “OK, I can do this.” But what is this teaching them? So what does it mean if I actually bring some paper or engage with them in conversation? It’s hard. It’s not easy, and I’m making this very personal. It’s actually more traumatic than some of the big issues that I work on in the world — entertaining my kids at dinner. But what it does is it connects them here in the present with me, but it also — and this is the crux of transgenerational thinking ethics — it sets them up to how they’re going to interact with their kids and their kids and their kids.
Second, futures thinking. When we think about the future, 10, 15 years out, give me a vision of what the future is. You don’t have to give it to me, but think in your head. And what you’re probably going to see is the dominant cultural lens that dominates our thinking about the future right now: technology. So when we think about the problems, we always put it through a technological lens, a tech-centric, a techno-utopia, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s something that we have to really think deeply about if we’re going to move on these major issues, because it wasn’t always like this. Right? The ancients had their way of thinking about what the future was. The Church definitely had their idea of what the future could be, and you could actually pay your way into that future. Right? And luckily for humanity, we got the scientific revolution. From there, we got the technology, but what has happened — And by the way, this is not a critique. I love technology. Everything in my house talks back to me, from my children to my speakers to everything.
But we’ve abdicated the future from the high priests in Rome to the high priests of Silicon Valley. So when we think, well, how are we going to deal with climate or with poverty or homelessness, our first reaction is to think about it through a technology lens. And look, I’m not advocating that we go to this guy. I love Joel, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not saying we go to Joel. What I’m saying is we have to rethink our base assumption about only looking at the future in one way, only looking at it through the dominant lens. Because our problems are so big and so vast that we need to open ourselves up.
So that’s why I do everything in my power not to talk about the future. I talk about futures. It opens the conversation again. So when you’re sitting and thinking about how do we move forward on this major issue — it could be at home, it could be at work, it could be again on the global stage — don’t cut yourself off from thinking about something beyond technology as a fix because we’re more concerned about technological evolution right now than we are about moral evolution. And unless we fix for that, we’re not going to be able to get out of short-termism and get to where we want to be.
The final, telos thinking. This comes from the Greek root. Ultimate aim and ultimate purpose. And it’s really asking one question: to what end? When was the last time you asked yourself: To what end? And when you asked yourself that, how far out did you go? Because long isn’t long enough anymore. Three, five years doesn’t cut it. It’s 30, 40, 50, 100 years.
In Homer’s epic, “The Odyssey,” Odysseus had the answer to his “what end.” It was Ithaca. It was this bold vision of what he wanted — to return to Penelope. And I can tell you, because of the work that I’m doing, but also you know it intuitively — we have lost our Ithaca. We have lost our “to what end,” so we stay on this hamster wheel. And yes, we’re trying to solve these problems, but what comes after we solve the problem? And unless you define what comes after, people aren’t going to move. The businesses — this isn’t just about business — but the businesses that do consistently, who break out of short-termism not surprisingly are family-run businesses. They’re transgenerational. They’re telos. They think about the futures. And this is an ad for Patek Philippe. They’re 175 years old, and what’s amazing is that they literally embody this kind of longpathian sense in their brand, because, by the way, you never actually own a Patek Philippe, and I definitely won’t —
unless somebody wants to just throw 25,000 dollars on the stage. You merely look after it for the next generation.
So it’s important that we remember, the future, we treat it like a noun. It’s not. It’s a verb. It requires action. It requires us to push into it. It’s not this thing that washes over us. It’s something that we actually have total control over. But in a short-term society, we end up feeling like we don’t. We feel like we’re trapped. We can push through that.
Now I’m getting more comfortable in the fact that at some point in the inevitable future, I will die. But because of these new ways of thinking and doing, both in the outside world and also with my family at home, and what I’m leaving my kids, I get more comfortable in that fact. And it’s something that a lot of us are really uncomfortable with, but I’m telling you, think it through. Apply this type of thinking and you can push yourself past what’s inevitably very, very uncomfortable.
And it all begins really with yourself asking this question: What is your longpath? But I ask you, when you ask yourself that now or tonight or behind a steering wheel or in the boardroom or the situation room: push past the longpath, quick, oh, what’s my longpath the next three years or five years? Try and push past your own life if you can because it makes you do things a little bit bigger than you thought were possible.
Yes, we have huge, huge problems out there. With this process, with this thinking, I think we can make a difference. I think you can make a difference, and I believe in you guys.
Thank you.

Unlearning Leader – Podcast Interview – EduTalk Radio

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– A.A. Milne

The Unlearning Leader: Leading Schools for Tomorrow Today is about how today’s leaders need to connect for success. The premise of this book is that we all need to unlearn. In order to change and prepare for tomorrow, the authors submit that much of what leaders have learned must be unlearned as we aim to create a new tomorrow for our nation’s children.

The learning purposes of this book include:

  • Energize people to think, act, and lead differently
  • Embody innovative mindsets
  • Model and share new ways of leading from within the organization
  • Put forth the power and positive impact and legacy for leadership
  • Unlearn old truths to lead in new ways
  • Leverage connection opportunities like #suptchat to lead and learn for tomorrow

The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today is a book that will make a difference. Unlearning implies relearning, and that relates to change. The once constant in education today is change. Leaders must know how people learn, communicate, and think. Nick and Mike are energetic, innovative, creative experts in promoting effective leadership that embraces today’s vastly different environment. This book is not an option – it is fundamental to building educational attitudes and behaviors that produce exceptional learners.
Jim Burgett, Author, Speaker, President of the Burgett Group, IL Supt of the Year

Please listen to a Podcast interview (below) with me and Nick Polyak (the authors) with


The Unlearning Leader: Schools for Tomorrow Today will include a series of unique elements, including:
(a) Reflection questions that will generate thought and conversation around each chapter;

(b) a unique end of chapter feature SUPTCHAT: Stop, Understand, Plan, Think –where suggested actions and reflected questions will help readers take action and connect with various Twitter chat communities

(c) a relationship between new learning and leading methods related to the five exemplary practices of leadership, evidence based practices from Kouzes & Posner

(d) Chapter Featurettes – guest commentary from successful educational leaders at the end of each chapter. This provides additional voices on the topics on unlearning.

HR Recruitment Video – #Engage109

“Employees are your most valuable assets. They are the heart and guts of a company.”
– Carlos Ghosn


It is recruiting season in education right now! In the Deerfield Public Schools, District 109, we’re proud of the rich and diverse history of our century and a half legacy of public, community education. We take great pride in showcasing the work of our students, staff, leadership team, board of education, and community.

Our research based, multi step selection process is among the most rigorous in the industry!

If you are looking for a place to work, we’re among the top rated employers – at last count, 94% of our nearly 500 employees indicated we are a great place to work. It takes relationships, trust, cooperation, communication, strong culture, and pride.

Take a few minutes to check out one of our award winning videos sharing what it is that we value in our public school system. If you are interested in employment, visit the Department of Human Resources Web Pages.




Why Must We Change Instructional/Organizational Practices in Education? – #engage109

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”
– John Wooden


Why change?

What is the sense of urgency?

Why do we constantly seek new and better ways to educate?

Well … for many reasons … among them – the world is different today – like it or not – there is new research, empirical evidence of impact and effects (see John Hattie and a number of posts I have written) yet it is so hard to change habits and it is so hard to make people believe in change since change also causes loss …

From time to time I post “Did you Know” videos … today I’m posting a new version – please take a few moments to watch the video and think – then watch the second video and please share your thoughts and comments.

The next video has some repeat information – but it’s worth a look:

Change is needed in the schools today. In a recent article in the December 2016 issue of District Administration (on page 10), Marc Prensky is quoted:

…”Up until now education has been about improving individuals, “he says. “What education should be about in the future is improving the world–and having individuals improve in the process.”

What does that mean to you?

How does all of this reconcile with the empirical evidence of what works in education (and what myths need to be corrected) (from Hattie, et. al)?

This is an exciting and quite arduous time to be a public educator.


From my 2/25/2014 POST where I repost material from Dana Schon:

An Index Of Teaching & Learning Strategies: 39 Effect Sizes In Ascending Order by Dana

Effect Size Defined-Statistically speaking, the strength of the relationship between two variables. John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, says ‘effect sizes’ are the best way of answering the question ‘what has the greatest influence on student learning?’Effect Size Applied

  • Reverse effects are self-explanatory, and below 0.0
  • Developmental effects are 0.0 to 0.15, and the improvement a child may be expected to show in a year simply through growing up, without any schooling. (These levels are determined with reference to countries with little or no schooling.)
  • Teacher effects “Teachers typically can attain d=0.20 to d=0.40 growth per year—and this can be considered average”…but subject to a lot of variation.
  • Desired effects are those above d=0.30 (Wiliam, Lee, Harrison, and Black 2004) and d=0.40 (Hattie, 1999) which are attributable to the specific interventions or methods being researched– changes beyond natural maturation or chance.
  • Blatantly obvious effectsAn effect-size of d=1.0 indicates an increase of one standard deviation… A one standard deviation increase is typically associated with advancing children’s achievement by two to three years*, improving the rate of learning by 50%, or a correlation between some variable (e.g., amount of homework) and achievement of approximately r=0.50. When implementing a new program, an effect-size of 1.0 would mean that, on average, students receiving that treatment would exceed 84% of students not receiving that treatment.
 Cohen (1988) argued that an effect size of d=1.0 should be regarded as a large, blatantly obvious, and grossly perceptible difference [such as] the difference between a person at 5’3″ (160 cm) and 6’0″ (183 cm)—which would be a difference visible to the naked eye.

Effect Size CAUTION

Reduce temptation to oversimplify. This is one more resource in our efforts to problem-solve on behalf of our students. We need to be careful about drawing too definite a conclusion from an effect size without examining the study. For example, homework is shown to have an overall effect size of 0.29, which is low and well below the average of 0.40. But when you look more closely, you find that primary students gain least from homework (d = 0.15) while secondary students have greater gains (d = 0.64).

Editor’s Note

Data is only as useful as its application. As hinted at above, don’t fall into the trap of assuming the teaching and learning strategies and other impacts on student achievement at the top of the list are “bad,” and those at the bottom are “good.” These are not recommendations, but rather a comprehensive synthesis of a huge amount of data. Every study has a story, and every strategy and impacting agent below has a background.

Ultimately, to best use this data to inform teaching and planning, every study we need to be looked at on its own. We would need to clarify what the terms were for success. Two of Hattie’s books–Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn, and Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement–must-buys so that you can do that kind of analysis on your own rather than skimming a blog post and extracting misguided takeaways …That said, the results of the synthesizing of the data appear below.

What Has The Greatest Influence On Learning? A Synthesis Of Hattie’s Synthesis

Retention (holding back a year)


Repeating a grade. Also negatively correlated with social/emotional adjustment, behavior, and self-concept.
Open vs traditional learning spaces


Open classrooms range widely in features—not correlated to increases in achievement.
Student control over learning


Effect of student choice and control over learning is somewhat higher on motivation outcomes than achievement outcomes, but neither have major consequences on learning and too many choices can be overwhelming.
Teacher subject matter knowledge


Little data to support claim that teacher content knowledge is critical to student achievement. Darling-Hammond claims content knowledge influential up to some level of basic competence but less so thereafter. Since publishing Visible Learning, Hattie has studied this topic more in depth and has shared that the issue is a pedagogical issue—teaching is occurring at a surface level such that deep content knowledge has not presented itself as influential or not. Expert teachers know how to connect their content to other relevant issues and content and how to organize that content.
Ability grouping/tracking/streaming


Refers to whether classes are heterogeneous or homogeneous. Studies consider achievement effects and equity effects. More than 300 studies show tracking has minimal effects on learning outcomes and “profound negative equity effects.”Separate gifted programming is not considered in this set of studies—see ability grouping for gifted.
Gender (male compared with female achievement)


Males and females are more alike than they are different, and differences are minor. 2,926 studies all point to the same conclusion. “The differences between males and females should not be of major concern to educators.”
Matching teaching with student learning styles


Contends different students have differing preferences for particular ways of learning—auditory, visual, tactile, or kinesthetic, for example. No gains in achievement found when teacher matched instruction to preferred modality.  Much skepticism surrounding claims around learning preferences. Research does not support correlation between matching learning style and increased achievement.
Within-class grouping


Defined as “teacher’s practice of forming groups of students of similar ability within an individual class.” Such groups that were studied were formed on semi-permanent basis. This is different from grouping for purpose of targeting instruction toward a specific skill area in which a heterogeneous group (achievement-wise) needs support for a short amount of time/intervention. Effects on research re: within class grouping (excluding gifted) was higher when class size was above 35—i.e. students in class sizes over 35 benefitted from small group instruction. Different from small group learning, defined as teacher assigning a task to small group and expecting them to complete.


Not a high correlation between extra-curriculars and achievement—sports is even lower than academic-related activities like speech/drama/music; however, because students enjoy activities, they are engaged and keep attending schools where they “gain the dividend of instruction in more academic subjects.” Effects from activities were found to be more related to identity formation and peer self-esteem, which are especially important to adolescents.
Reducing class size (Reduce from 25-15, effect between 0.10 to 0.20)


Effects may be higher for working conditions which may or may not translate into effects on learning. For smaller class size to yield higher effects, the type of instruction needs to be re-conceptualized to ensure the needs of all students are met within whatever the class size. Need to focus on strategies that are maximized in smaller or larger groups and apply respectively.
Individualized instruction (Note: NOT special education)


Based on ideas that each student has unique interests and past learning experiences, and individualized program takes this into account. Allows for student flexibility and individual differences. Small effect, but one study claimed higher effects based upon teacher adapting instruction to needs of students and aligning to capability in addition to finding resources that were fitting. Other whole class/group influences like peer tutoring have higher effects.
School finance


Minimal relationship between educational expenditure and student achievement; more positive correlation between expenses for cost of instruction (e.g. teacher salaries and instructional supplies) and achievement. Not amount of money spent, but how it is spent.
Teaching test-taking and coaching


Many studies around SAT preparation show influence impacted by length of coaching/training. Other studies indicate that familiarizing students with the examination process and examiner can make a difference, more so than test prep. Students in the low SES group performed significantly higher on standardized tests when they were familiar with the examiner.
Homework (Note: Elementary effect size of 0.15, and high school of 0.64)


Involves “tasks assigned to students by teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours.” Effects twice as large for high as for junior high, and twice as large again for junior high as for elementary. Smallest effects in math. Largest in science and social studies with English in the middle. Effects greater for higher than lower ability students. Homework for some reinforces that they cannot learn by themselves. Can undermine motivation and internalize incorrect routines and strategies.
Inquiry-based teaching (Note: Hattie wondered why effect wasn’t higher and since publishing, has learned that teaching content so students have some background knowledge about which they are inquiring increases effect)


Art of developing challenging situations—students observe and question phenomena, pose explanations, devise and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze data, draw conclusions, design and build models, or any combination. Open-ended. Greater effects when teaching process rather than content. Shown to produce transferable critical thinking skills.
Using simulations and gaming


Typically involves use of model or game (such as role playing, decision-making) with an aim to engage students in learning. Aims to mimic real-world problems.
Decreasing disruptive behavior


Teachers need skills to ensure no student disrupts his/her own learning or that of others. Argument is NOT that disruptive student should be removed.
Computer-assisted instruction (Note: Web-based learning, interactive video methods, and simulations are analyzed separately)


25 times out of 100, computer-aided instruction in the form of tutoring, managing, simulation, enrichment, programming, and/or problem-solving will make a positive difference. Majority of studies are about teachers using computers in instruction compared to those who don’t—fewer about students using them in learning in different ways. Use of computers more effective when a diversity of teaching strategies, when teachers receive pre-training in their use, when multiple opportunities for learning, when the student (not teacher) is in control of learning, when peer learning is optimized, and when feedback is optimized.
Integrated curricular programs (e.g. global studies class that incorporates both science and social studies or thematic unit– Friendship)


More effective in elementary and middle school than high school. Greater effect when instruction was organized around a theme (0.46) and process skills were emphasized (0.36). Greater effect for lower achieving compared to middle and higher achieving students and when more experienced teachers implemented.

Effect Size greater than 0.4 effects student achievement

How to develop high expectations for each teacher (Note: Hattie contends teachers must stop over-emphasizing ability and start emphasizing progress—steep learning curves are the RIGHT of ALL students regardless of where they start. Be prepared to be surprised!)


Studies included effects related to the notion of self-fulfilling prophecy—teachers are more likely to have their students reach their expected outcomes regardless of the “veracity” of the outcomes. Studies in this meta-analysis also show students know they are treated differentially in the classroom due to expectations by teachers for certain students to take AP courses, for example, or others to pursue technical fields.
Professional development on student achievement


Research re: PD seems to focus more on changes in teachers rather than impact on student outcomes. PD likely to change teacher learning but has less effect on teacher behavior. PD in science has highest effects on student outcomes (0.94) then writing (0.88). Seven themes re: what works best in PD were advocated as a result of 72 studies.
Home environment


Includes measures of the socio-psychological environment and intellectual stimulation in the home. Most highly correlated factors with achievement were maternal involvement, variety and play materials.
Peer influences on achievement


Studies include a variety of influences: peer tutoring, helping, friendship, and giving feedback. Studies examining what happens when a student moves schools show single greatest predictor of subsequent success is whether student makes friend in first month.
Phonics instruction


Teaching students the alphabetic code. Designed for beginners in early elementary.
Providing worked examples


Typically consist of a problem statement and the appropriate steps to a solution. Three steps: introductory phase, acquisition/training phase, test phase (assess learning). Reduces cognitive load for students such that they concentrate on the processes that lead to the correct answer and not just providing an answer.
Cooperative vs individualistic learning


Most powerful when students have acquired sufficient background knowledge to be involved in discussion and learning w/peers. Most useful when learning concepts, verbal problem-solving, spatial problem-solving, retention and memory.  Effects increase with age.
Direct instruction


Not to be confused with didactic teacher-led talking from the front. Refers to 7 major steps:

  1. Teacher specifies learning outcomes/intentions
  2. Teacher knows and communicates success criteria
  3. Builds commitment and engagement in learning task (the hook)
  4. Lesson design: input, model, check for understanding
  5. Guided practice
  6. Closure
  7. Independent practice

Speaks to power of stating learning intentions/outcomes and communicating standards for performance and then engaging students in getting there. Effects were found to be similar for regular education and special education—i.e. direct instruction is effective for all.

Concept mapping


Involves development of graphical representations of the conceptual structure of content to be learned. Importance of concept mapping is in its emphasis on summarizing main ideas in what is to be learned. Assists in synthesizing and identifying major ideas, themes, and interrelationships.
Comprehension programs (Interesting note: Hattie did not find a 4th grade reading slump, just no growth or increase during upper elementary years. Several possible reasons for plateau: most curricula does not attend to reading progressions, lack of building upon learning to read once students have learned to read, and possibly perceived “unimportant” reading difficulties appear for the first time in Grade 5 when students encounter information materials and multiple text types requiring more inference and comprehension.


Comprehension programs with dominant focus on processing strategies (e.g. inferential reasoning, rules for summarizing, and chunking texts) produced higher effect than did text programs (e.g. repetition of concepts and explicitness) and task programs.
Teaching learning strategies


Teaching kids how to learn and developing students’ strategies for learning. Need to provide students with learning strategies in the context of learning, a chance to practice, and assurance that the strategies are effective. Need to understand intention to use, consistency in appropriate use ,and knowing when chosen strategy is effective—learning to learn or self-regulation.
Teaching study skills


To get to deeper levels of understanding and effectiveness, combine study skills instruction with the content.
Vocabulary programs


Students who experienced vocabulary instruction experienced major improvements in reading comprehension and overall reading skills. Most effective vocabulary instruction included providing both definitional and contextual information, involved students in deeper processing, and gave students more than 1 or 2 exposures to the word to be learned.
How to accelerate learning (e.g. skipping a year)


Other forms of acceleration include compacting curriculum, telescoping curriculum, and advanced placement. No negative social effects for accelerated students were supported by the research. Effect size for 2 meta-analyses and 37 studies regarding all forms of acceleration was 0.88.
How to better teach meta-cognitive strategies


Meta-cognitive strategies refer to those “thinking about thinking” strategies: planning how to approach a learning task, evaluating progress, and monitoring comprehension. Self-questioning is another meta-cognitive strategy.
Teacher-student relationships


Interestingly, “when students, parents, teachers and principals were asked about what influences student achievement, all BUT the teachers emphasized the relationships between the teachers and the students.” “Building relationships implies agency, efficacy, respect by the teacher for what the student brings to the class (from home, culture, and peers) and recognition of the life of the student.”
Reciprocal teaching


Teaching cognitive strategies intended to lead to improved learning outcomes. Emphasis on teachers enabling students to learn and use strategies such as summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. Dialogue between teacher and students around text. Students take turns as teacher and lead dialogue to bring meaning to written word with assistance to learn to monitor their own learning and thinking.
How to provide better feedback


Among most powerful of influences, especially when it is from the student to the teacher. If the teacher is open to feedback regarding what students know and understand, where they make errors, when they have misconceptions, and when they are disengaged, then they can respond accordingly.  Feedback is about providing information about the task performance. Effect sizes from these studies show considerable variability, meaning some forms of feedback are more powerful than others. Least effective: programmed instruction, praise, punishment, and extrinsic rewards. Feedback is more effective when it provides information on correct rather than incorrect responses and when it builds on changes from previous trials.
Providing formative evaluation to teachers


Refers to teachers attending to what is happening for each student in their classrooms as a result of their instruction—when teachers ask, “How am I doing?” Highest effects when teachers seek evidence on where students are not doing well.
Teacher credibility in the eyes of the students (Note: This link is to an interesting article on credibility and how to build it:


“If a teacher is not perceived as credible, the students just turn off. If a student doesn’t get (the value of education) by the age of 8, they are behind for most of the rest of their school life. Students are very perceptive about knowing which teachers can make a difference to their learning. And teachers who command this credibility are most likely to make the difference.”
How to develop high expectations for each student


Refers to students’ expectations for and beliefs in themselves. Involves students predicting or self-reporting their grades. Implications: teachers need to provide opportunities for students to be involved in predicting their performance. “Making the learning intentions and success criteria transparent, having high, but appropriate, expectations, and providing feedback at the appropriate levels is critical to building confidence in taking on challenging tasks.”

(See above for effect sizes and context/explanation.)

  1. Retention (holding back a year)
  2. Open vs traditional learning spaces
  3. Student control over learning
  4. Teacher subject matter knowledge
  5. Ability grouping/tracking/streaming
  6. Gender (male compared with female achievement)
  7. Matching teaching with student learning styles
  8. Within-class grouping
  9. Extra-Curricular
  10. Reducing class size
  11. Individualized instruction
  12. School finance
  13. Teaching test-taking and coaching
  14. Homework
  15. Inquiry-based teaching
  16. Using simulations and gaming
  17. Decreasing disruptive behavior
  18. Computer-assisted instruction
  19. Integrated curricular programs
  20. How to develop high expectations for each teacher
  21. Professional development on student achievement
  22. Home environment
  23. Peer influences on achievement
  24. Phonics instruction
  25. Providing worked examples
  26. Cooperative vs individualistic learning
  27. Direct instruction
  28. Concept mapping
  29. Comprehension programs
  30. Teaching learning strategies
  31. Teaching study skills
  32. Vocabulary programs
  33. How to accelerate learning (e.g. skipping a year)
  34. How to better teach meta-cognitive strategies
  35. Teacher-student relationships
  36. Reciprocal teaching
  37. How to provide better feedback
  38. Providing formative evaluation to teachers
  39. Teacher credibility in the eyes of the students