Monday, April 4, 2022

You Are Not Alone: The Child Is Brought Up In A Village


Children are naturally curious, and according to The Mayo Clinic, it can be one of their greatest strengths when it is developed and built on to spur their knowledge of the world. Given the chance to foster their curiosity, they may choose their next set of classes in grade school, pick a career-placing major, and find their calling in life. 

John Hattie, one of the most respected and renowned education researchers in the world draws on his globally famous visible learning research to tell parents how and why they should nurture their child’s curiosity.

With his son, educator Kyle Hattie, Professor John Hattie has penned a new book on 10 Steps To Develop Great Learners to answer questions for parents and help them: 

  • Choosing the right school for your child
  • Communicating effectively with teachers
  • Being the ‘first learner’ and demonstrating openness to new ideas and thinking
  • Promoting the ‘language of learning’
  • Bolstering a child’s curiosity in school and at home

You can get a taste of the book in the below excerpt. 

By Professor John Hattie and Educator Kyle Hattie, Co-Authors of 10 Steps to Develop Great Learners

Siblings can be quite different from each other, although they are brought up in families by the same parents. Children have different potentials, different real- izations of their lives, and different experiences. And, through multiple interactions with others, they often have different views on the world. Everyone in the family brings their personal resources, con- ceptualized as skill (e.g., knowledge), will (dispositions), and thrill (motivations), which we talk about in mind frame 4.

Not every child, no matter how perfect their upbringing, will be an Einstein, a Madame Curie, a Mother Teresa, or a Martin Luther King. No matter those who proclaim ‘bring me a child until he or she is 7, and I will make him or her what you want’ – this is unlikely to happen in today’s world especially if the ‘what you want’ is intel- lectual brilliance. The older insulated world of the closed family is now battered by the outside influences available within the home. Tara Westover wrote about her experiences in such a closed family, and Educated is a powerful message about the resourcefulness of kids to break out of these closets.

We are not returning here to the barren debate about ‘heredity or environment’ as the more important influence. Jim Flynn sums up the issue nicely.1 He asks, imagine a child who is born a little taller and quicker than average: ‘They may perhaps enjoy playground basketball more and play more, so already they’re upgrading their environment in terms of enriched basketball practice. And then, when they get to school, the grade school coach may see them and say ‘Hey, they’re worth putting on the team.’ And that, of course, upgrades their per- formance advantage more, and then they may make their high school team and get really good coaching’. Such small genetic advantages can turn into large performance advantages through these feedback loops. Parents’ role is to magnify the potentials of their children by providing opportunities to learn, seek, and listen to feedback. The dilemma is to know these small advantages and this means parents need to be supportive when their children choose many different sports, activities, and experiences. With my (JH) boys, they tried every sport available, and it was not until a mid-teenager that Kyle settled on underwater hockey – going on to win a Gold Medal at the World Championships 2006 in Sheffield UK ( It is the perfect sport for a parent, as you cannot see the game, no point in cheering, there are no hassles between parents and refer- ees, and you can sit in the stands and read your book with no guilt (see

Children bring their own bundle of attributes – their own strengths and world views – into the family. But parents, in their socializing role, help realize, modify, and enhance a child’s attributes, as do teachers, friends, media, and so many others. Children are more likely to learn at home to behave at home; to learn at school to behave at school; to learn within friends to behave with friends. They quickly learn to ‘code switch’ – that is, learn the codes of dif- ferent settings and pity if they do not as therein lie a major source of conflict. The child is the same person, but they need to be taught to present, interpret, and interact in different contexts.

Professor John Hattie is a renowned researcher in education. His research interests include performance indicators, models of measurement and evaluation of teaching and learning. John Hattie became known to a wider public with the publication of his two books, Visible Learning and Visible Learning for Teachers, the result of 15 years of research. The books are a synthesis of more than 800 meta-studies covering more than 80 million students.  The Visible Learning series has sold more than 1.5 million copies, and has been translated into 29 different languages. TES once called John “possibly the world’s most influential education academic.” He has been Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. Before, he was Project Director of asTTle and Professor of Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, Canada. You can find a full CV of Professor John Hattie at the website of the University of Auckland.

Kyle Hattie is a Year 6 Teacher working in a Primary School in the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Over his 10-year career, he has taught at many year levels, from Prep to Year 6 in both Australia and New Zealand. Kyle has held various leadership titles and has a passion for understanding how students become learners.

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