Professor John Hattie has some free advice for the modern day teacher: shut up, listen to your students, and use video games as a tool to foster engaging educational experiences. While the director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne aimed his comments at teachers in his home country of Australia, the free advice is global and universal in nature. Professor Hattie says teachers need to stop spending 80 percent of their class room talking and start listening to their students.
"When teachers stop talking deep learning takes place,'' said Hattie at conference of educators in Parramatta this week." It's our concept of ourselves as teachers that we have knowledge and we need to impart it."
"Speaking 80 per cent of the time in conversation means I'm waiting for you to stop to have the chance to talk, he continued. "In counselling you have to do the opposite, you have to listen and that's what I want teachers to do."
Professor Hattie has analyzed more than 800 studies that assess educational strategies for 300 million children, but the one thing that (he believes) needs to be looked at is how much time teachers spending talking for the sake of talking. While teachers do need to talk to share their wisdom, Hattie says that 80 percent of class room time is too much. He goes on to say that teachers should stop looking at teaching as just a job where kids come to school to see them work.
Professor Hattie also suggested that teachers look at video games as a viable vehicle for educating children.
"In a video game, the game actually knows your prior achievement. It knows what you did last time, also how to set a target sufficiently above that to entice you to beat it. And it gives you a tremendous amount of feedback in the process of beating it," he said.
Professor Hattie said teaching children how to play the "game of learning" can produce dramatically higher improvements in learning than solutions that are typically sought by politicians, such as smaller classes.
"Our job is to help teachers see learning through the eyes of kids,'' he said. ''And the great thing is when they do, teachers change."
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald