Event Reports

Teachers need to change

Education expert John Hattie presents his research results in Berlin

Professor John Hattie from New Zealand, a worldwide famous education expert, and for some even the "Harry Potter of pedagogy", sees a bigger autonomy of teachers as an important key to more efficiency in education. This is Hattie's conclusion after having looked at several thousand studies and meta-analyses. Following an invitation by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Hattie presented some of his findings in Berlin.

According to Hattie, it is rather the teacher's performance, than the size of the class and the duration of education, which is decisive for pupils' success. Therefore, Hattie puts the teacher in the centre of his thoughts. "Not one single teacher has to change, but teachers as a group", Hattie says. His research proves the positive effect that can be achieved when for example one tries to "see more through the eyes of a pupil". This could be facilitated by having discussions. "I know it is difficult, because than the teacher has to be quiet", said Hattie. But teachers must listen in order to understand at what stage each individual is in his or her development. Only this way it is possible to differentiate and adjust to the content of teaching, such as setting new goals for example. "Pupils want to be challenged. Similar as reaching the next level in a computer game, kids also want to be successful in something at school", Hattie said. Apart from more exchange in the classrooms, Hattie also calls for a more intensive exchange of experiences with colleagues. "We need the efficiency of all teachers collectively", Hattie stressed.

He also emphasizes the special relationship between pupils and teachers. "We go to school to learn what we did not know before. In this context, trust plays a very important role." The teacher should be aware of his influence on the pupil and, if applicable, should adjust. The credibility of the teacher in the pupils eyes is a success criteria that should not be underestimated.

In front of about 300 listeners and about as many who watched the speech online via livestream Hattie was welcomed by the General Secretary of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Michael Thielen, who emphasized the relevance of Hatties research results: "Nobody in the debate on education can ignore it", Thielen said.

About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at www.kas.de. In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

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