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5 Big Ideas That Don’t Work In Education

Over the past 28 years he has published a dozen books, mostly on a theory he calls Visible Learning. His life’s work boils down to one proposition: To improve schools, draw on the best evidence available.

Obvious? Maybe, but it’s rarely honored in reality, Hattie claims. “Senior politicians and government officials clearly want to make a difference,” he says. “But they want to do this, that and the other silly thing which has failed everywhere else, and I want to know why.” In a new paper, “What Doesn’t Work In Education: The Politics Of Distraction,” published by Pearson Education, Hattie takes on some of the most popular approaches to reform.

Small classes. High standards. More money. These popular and oft-prescribed remedies from both the right and the left, he argues, haven’t been shown to work as well as alternatives.