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Why is getting good schools so hard? Dylan Wiliam

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1 Why is getting good schools so hard? Dylan Wiliam

2 Outline 2 Do we really need to improve our schools? What kinds of schools do we need? What makes a difference to student achievement?

3 Overview: Science and Design We need to improve student achievement This requires improving teacher quality Improving the quality of entrants takes too long So we have to make the teachers we have better We can change teachers in a range of ways Some will benefit students, and some will not. Those that do involve changes in teacher practice Changing practice requires new kinds of teacher learning And new models of professional development. Design Science 3

4 Non-economic benefits of education 4 More educated students live longer are healthier have less disability towards the end of their lives are less likely to be teenage parents are less likely to be incarcerated are less likely to commit suicide Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Education (

5 Economic benefits of education 5 For individuals: Increased lifetime salary Reduced risk of unemployment For society: Lower criminal justice costs Lower healthcare costs Increased economic growth: Net present value to the U.S. of a 25-point increase on PISA: $40 trillion (three times the National Debt) Net present value to the U.S. of getting all students to 400 on PISA: $70 trillion

6 What is the purpose of education? 6 Four main philosophies of education Personal empowerment Cultural transmission Preparation for citizenship Preparation for work All are important Any curriculum is a (sometimes uneasy) compromise between these four forces

7 The coming war for jobs (Clifton, 2011) Right now 7 billion people on earth 5 billion adults 3 billion people who want to work 90% of these want to work full time As a consequence 2.7 billion full-time formal jobs are wanted with only 1.2 billion full-time formal jobs available A shortfall of 1.5 billion jobs So, for every US worker, there are 10 people who would like their job…

8 A daunting target Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) United States496 Canada527 Finland544 Shanghai579 8

9 The world of work is changing… Skill categoryPercentage change Complex communication+14% Expert thinking/problem solving+8% Routine manual–3% Non-routine manual–5% Routine cognitive–8% Autor, Levy & Murnane (2003) 9

10 …with profound impacts on some workers Education levelChange in salary 1978 to 2005 Postgraduate qualification+28% BA/BSc+19% Some college0% High school diploma0% High school dropout-16% Economic Policy Institute (2010) 10

11 Off-shoring and automation Off-shoreableNot off-shoreable Skilled Radiographer Security analyst Tax accountant Surgeon (?) Bricklayer Hairdresser Unskilled Food packager Data entry clerk Call centre operator Grocery store clerk Receptionist Retail salesperson 11

12 Meet Maddie Parlier… 12 Davidson (2012)

13 There is only one 21st century skill So the model that says learn while youre at school, while youre young, the skills that you will apply during your lifetime is no longer tenable. The skills that you can learn when youre at school will not be applicable. They will be obsolete by the time you get into the workplace and need them, except for one skill. The one really competitive skill is the skill of being able to learn. It is the skill of being able not to give the right answer to questions about what you were taught in school, but to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school. We need to produce people who know how to act when theyre faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared. (Papert, 1998) 13

14 Successful education? The test of successful education is not the amount of knowledge that a pupil takes away from school, but his appetite to know and his capacity to learn. If the school sends out children with the desire for knowledge and some idea how to acquire it, it will have done its work. Too many leave school with the appetite killed and the mind loaded with undigested lumps of information. The good schoolmaster is known by the number of valuable subjects which he declines to teach. The Future of Education (Livingstone, 1941 p. 28) 14

15 What kinds of schools do we need? School modelEthosKey process Talent refineriesSchool must provide opportunities for students to show what they can do Ensuring good teaching and syllabus coverage Talent incubators All students students can learn, but not all students can achieve at high levels Drawing out what is within the student Talent factoriesAll students can achieve at high levels Whatever it takes 15

16 How do we get them? Structure: Smaller/larger high schools K–8 schools/All-through schools Alignment: Curriculum reform Textbook replacement Governance: Charter schools Vouchers Technology: Computers Interactive whiteboards Workforce reforms 16

17 Are private schools the answer? 17 In PISA, U.S. students in private schools out- perform public school students by 25 points But, after controlling for social class, public school students in the U.S. out-perform private school students by 10 points.

18 Pause for reflection Whats the most interesting, surprising, or challenging thing you have heard so far? See if you can get consensus with your neighbors

19 School effectiveness Three generations of school effectiveness research: Raw results approaches: Different schools get different results. Conclusion: Schools make a difference. Demographic-based approaches: Demographic factors account for most of the variation. Conclusion: Schools dont make a difference. Value-added approaches: School-level differences in value-added are relatively small. Classroom-level differences in value-added are large. Conclusion: An effective school is a school full of effective classrooms. 19

20 Within schools Between schools OECD PISA data from McGaw, 2008 USA

21 We need to focus on classrooms, not schools 21 In the USA, variability at the classroom level is at least four times that at school level. As long as you go to school, it doesnt matter very much which school you go to. But it matters very much which classrooms you are in. Its not class size. Its not the between-class grouping strategy. Its not the within-class grouping strategy.

22 And most of all, on teachers 22 Take a group of 50 teachers: Students taught by the most effective teacher in that group of 50 teachers learn in six months what those taught by the average teacher learn in a year. Students taught by the least effective teacher in that group of 50 teachers will take two years to achieve the same learning (Hanushek & Rivkin, 2006) And furthermore: In the classrooms of the most effective teachers, students from disadvantaged backgrounds learn at the same rate as those from advantaged backgrounds (Hamre & Pianta, 2005).

23 Improving teacher quality takes time A classic labor force issue with two (non-exclusive) solutions: Replace existing teachers with better ones. Help existing teachers become even more effective. 23

24 The dark matter of teacher quality 24 We know that teachers make a difference But what makes the difference in teachers? What teachers know? What teachers do?

25 The dark matter of teacher quality 25 What teachers do (Danielson, 1996)% Planning and preparation The classroom environment Instruction Professional responsibilities Total

26 A framework for teaching (Danielson, 1996) Domain 2: The classroom environment 2a: Creating an environment of respect and rapport 2b: Establishing a culture for learning 2c: Managing classroom procedures 2d: Managing student behavior 2e: Organizing physical space Domain 3: Instruction 3a: Communicating with students 3b: Using questioning and discussion techniques 3c: Engaging students in learning 3d: Using assessment in instruction 3e: Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness

27 Teacher ratings and student growth

28 The elusiveness of teacher quality An increase of one category on the Danielson framework… e.g., unsatisfactory to basic basic to proficient proficient to distinguished …is associated with a 10% increase in the rate of student learning (an extra months learning a year) …or put another way, the Danielson framework captures less than 20% of teacher quality…

29 Findings Principals were six times more likely than observers to rate practice as distinguished Teacher ratings were slightly higher on classroom environment than on instruction In five of the sub-domains, teacher ratings were slightly lower in unscheduled observations (one seventh of one category)

30 The dark matter of teacher quality (2) 30 Components of teacher quality% What teachers know10-30% What teachers do10-15% Total (given overlaps)30-40%

31 Improving teacher quality A classic labor force issue with two (non-exclusive) solutions: Replace existing teachers with better ones Help existing teachers become even more effective 31

32 Replace existing teachers with better ones? 32 Raising the bar for entry into the profession? Exclude the lowest performing 30% from getting in 5 points on PISA (in 30 years time) Firing ineffective teachers? De-selecting least effective 10% and replace them with average teachers 2 points on PISA (right away, if it can be done)

33 So we have to improve the teachers we have 33 The love the one youre with strategy But what should we improve? Teacher effort? Teacher knowledge? Teacher skills?

34 How do we speed up teacher improvement? 34 Merit pay for effective teachers? Cant be done fairly, and doesnt work Create a culture of continuous improvement But what does this really mean?

35 Left on their own, teachers improve, but slowly (Leigh, 2007, 2010) 35

36 Under current patterns of professional development, over 20 years, a teacher increases in productivity by around 5% This means that good novices are better teachers on their first day than the average teacher will ever be in his or her career if they are left to their own devices.

37 Expertise 37 Teacher expertise resembles expertise in other areas (Berliner, 1994) Expertise is acquired through deliberative practice, not just repetition Specifically, trying to do things that you cant currently do… So what should teachers try to improve?

38 The evidence base for formative assessment Fuchs & Fuchs (1986) Natriello (1987) Crooks (1988) Bangert-Drowns, et al. (1991) Dempster (1991, 1992) Elshout-Mohr (1994) Kluger & DeNisi (1996) Black & Wiliam (1998) Nyquist (2003) Brookhart (2004) Allal & Lopez (2005) Köller (2005) Brookhart (2007) Wiliam (2007) Hattie & Timperley (2007) Shute (2008) 38

39 Which of these are formative? A.A district science supervisor uses test results to plan professional development workshops for teachers B.Teachers doing item-by-item analysis of 5 th grade math tests to review their 5 th grade curriculum C.A school tests students every 10 weeks to predict which students are on course to pass the state test in March D.Three-fourths of the way through a unit test E.Students who fail a test on Friday have to come back on Saturday F.Exit pass question: What is the difference between mass and weight? G.Sketch the graph of y equals one over one plus x squared on your mini-white boards. 39

40 The formative assessment hijack Long-cycle: Span: across units, terms Length: four weeks to one year Impact: Student monitoring; curriculum alignment Medium-cycle: Span: within and between teaching units Length: one to four weeks Impact: Improved, student-involved assessment; teacher cognition about learning Short-cycle: Span: within and between lessons Length: day-by-day: 24 to 48 hours minute-by-minute: five seconds to two hours Impact: classroom practice; student engagement 40

41 Professional learning communities 41 …an inclusive group of people, motivated by a shared learning vision, who support and work with each other, finding ways, inside and outside their immediate community, to enquire on their practice and together learn new and better approaches that will enhance all pupils learning. (Stoll et al., 2006) DuFourWiliam … focus on results … and use results to inform and improve our professional practice and respond to students who need intervention and enrichment. …teachers improving classroom practice through a focus on minute-by-minute and day-by-day classroom assessment. Quality controlQuality assurance Common assessmentsHighly structured meetings Focus on individual outcomes for students Focus on supporting teachers in changing practice Improvement through better systemsImprovement through increased teacher capacity

42 Main approaches to formative assessment Improve team-work and systems Professional learning communities Regular meetings focused on data 16 points on PISA (in two to three years) Improve classroom practice Teacher learning communities Investing in high-quality PD for teachers 30 points on PISA (in two to three years) 42

43 Unpacking formative assessment Where the learner is going Where the learner isHow to get there Teacher Peer Learner Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions Engineering effective discussions, tasks, and activities that elicit evidence of learning Providing feedback that moves learners forward Activating students as learning resources for one another Activating students as owners of their own learning 43

44 And one big idea Where the learner is going Where the learner isHow to get there Teacher Peer Learner 44 Using evidence of achievement to adapt what happens in classrooms to meet learner needs

45 An educational positioning system A good teacher: Establishes where the students are in their learning Identifies the learning destination Carefully plans a route Begins the learning journey Makes regular checks on progress on the way Makes adjustments to the course as conditions dictate 45

46 Examples of techniques Learning intentions sharing exemplars Eliciting evidence mini white-boards Providing feedback match the comments to the essays Students as learning resources pre-flight checklist Students as owners of their learning colored cups

47 So much for the easy bit

48 The happiness hypothesis (Haidt, 2005) +– The riderRational Good at complex analysis Focused on the long-term Thinks about the future Weak Easily distracted Gets bogged down in detail Tires quickly The elephantInstinctive Compassionate Sympathetic Loyal Protective Powerful Emotional Skittish Focused on the short-term Thinks about the present

49 Strategies for change (Heath & Heath, 2010) Direct the rider Follow the bright spots Script the critical moves Point to the destination Motivate the elephant Find the feeling Shrink the change Grow your people Shape the path Tweak the environment Build habits Rally the herd

50 Summary Raising achievement is important Raising achievement requires improving teacher quality Improving teacher quality requires teacher professional development To be effective, teacher professional development must address: What teachers do in the classroom How teachers change what they do in the classroom A uniquely powerful combination formative assessment school-based support 50

51 Thank You

52 References Clifton, J. (2011). The coming war for jobs. New York, NY: Gallup Press.

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