I’m spending two days at the AIS Executive Conference in Brighton-Le-Sands on Botony Bay, Sydney. On day one, the committee set up an excellent program featuring John Hattie, Alma Harris and Peter Freebody. The three keynotes complemented each other and contributed to a solid basis for further discussions. My interest focused on John Hattie whose book Visible Learning is fast becoming the bible for evidence-based educators. John made presented an insightful and no holds barred case for what strategies have a greater effect on student achievement. His bottom-line is that the difference is educators whose attention is on evaluating the effect they have on student learning. It’s a reminder of the simple wisdom of questions like those put forward by the likes of Rick Dufour:
- What do we want the students to learn?
- How do we know when each student has learned it?
- What do we do when a student experiences difficulty in learning it?
On Day Two, my friend Steven Armstrong (Deputy Head Academic) and I shared Oxley College’s journey so far with Curriculum Mapping. We offered a “warts and all” tale that begins with a hazy vision of where we want to go and ends (so far) happily with a very successful inspection by the Board of Studies earlier this month.