At Safety Bay our teaching and learning practices are underpinned by Visible Learning.
Visible Learning is based on the work of Professor John Hattie (University of Melbourne) who has conducted over 1000 meta analyses of 50,000 educational studies involving students worldwide to identify those instructional practices that work best.
Visible Learning means an enhanced role for teachers as they become evaluators of their own teaching. According to John Hattie Visible Learning and Teaching occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers.
At Safety Bay we are seeking to shift the focus from teaching to learning. We use evidence based best practices (pedagogy) to support every student’s learning more effectively. WALT and WILF is a tool we use in our classrooms to encourage students to be more actively involved in their learning. It is used to explicitly highlight to the students what they are being asked to do (WALT = the learning intention) and the steps they need to follow to successfully achieve the learning intention (WILF = the success criteria). Research shows that students are more motivated if they understand the learning intention of the task. The main benefit for students is that by focusing on the learning intention, they begin to fully understand what they are learning rather than doing. We are also empowering students to set their learning goals and track their progress on data walls.
At Safety Bay we use Carol Dwecks research on ‘Growth Mindset’ as a vehicle to bring a shift in the way we look at successful learners. According to Dweck, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability, and can learn and improve) is the key to success. Yes, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own learning. Each classroom displays our rainbow dispositions which highlight our values and beliefs.
Hattie’s research identifies that ‘feedback has one of the most powerful effects on student achievement’. At Safety Bay we are exposing students to three areas of feedback: teacher to student, student to teacher and student to student. Feedback is clear, purposeful and directed at the right level so it can assist students to engage and develop effective strategies to achieve the learning intention. Feedback occurs as the students are doing the learning and provides information on how and why the student has or has not met the criteria. We are also working on training students to give constructive feedback to their peers and teachers.
Our aim is to ensure that students can articulate the learning intentions, co-create success criteria with their teachers, use feedback and our dispositions with a Growth Mindset to become drivers of their learning.
Year 1 Teacher