Bad marks for Norwegian schools

Australian Professor of Education John Hattie believes these institutions are performing badly

Photo: svonog / Wikimedia Commons Computer-aided learning, like this interactive whiteboard, may not be helping students.

Photo: svonog / Wikimedia Commons
Computer-aided learning, like this interactive whiteboard, may not be helping students.

Sarah Bostock
The Foreigner

The University of Melbourne Professor and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute, was recently in southern Norway’s Kristiansand. He held a lecture for teachers, school management, politicians, bureaucrats, and other interested people.

Smaller classes, level sharing, mixed-age classes, school choice, computer-assisted instruction, and summer schools are not particularly effective, Aftenposten wrote.

Professor Hattie, who has written Visible Learning, has covered 800 meta-analyses of nearly 50,000 studies in his 2009 book.

Which measures give students most learning is the major question. He calculates the learning effect of 138 different variables, which are given a value of between -0.34 and 1.4. He says one should not prioritize measures with a learning effect of less than 0.4.

The leading academic has also told publication TES that teachers should not try to conduct their own research in the classroom and leave the job to academics, rather. “Researching is a particular skill. Some of us took years to gain that skill. Asking teachers to be researchers? They are not.”

Professor Hattie also said that he thought there was a danger that schools were trying to become too theoretical. “They are more obsessed about how they ride a bike than whether they can ride a bike well,” he said.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit theforeigner.no.

It also appeared in the May 8, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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