Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Students Self-Reporting Grades is Top Strategy for Improving Student Achievement

“Our job is to help kids exceed what they think they can do” John Hattie

John Hattie, who is a renowned researcher in education, synthesized thousands of research studies and ranked what has had the biggest impact on student achievement in his book, Visible Learning. Much of Summit’s student experience and academic model is based on this research.

The top strategy that his analysis points to is “Student Self-Report Grades” where students set goals for themselves and guess how well they are going to do on a project or test. With hundreds of other approaches ranked, nothing predicted how a student would do better than the student making that prediction himself. However, the act of just setting the goal isn’t really what made the difference. It was the teacher’s knowledge of those goals and the student’s abilities that allowed teachers to push students to achieve more that made the difference. If the student set lofty goals, the teacher could hold them accountable to their high expectations. If the student set “safe” goals," the teacher could push them to go beyond what they think they could do while giving them the confidence and skills to do so.

That’s why we continually stress goal-setting at Summit and mentors are constantly discussing both long-term and short-term goals with students. In the PLP, students are able to set college goals, year-long grade goals, and even goals for each cognitive skill measured in the projects they're working on. This critical information shapes the conversations between our students and mentors.


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