Cultivating Dynamic Learning Environments With John Hattie

Topics: Ethical Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Learning, School Culture and Climate

“There are thousands of books on teacher talk and principal talk. How many books are there on listening? That is one of the most powerful attributes of a school leader.”

John Hattie


In this episode, listeners will have the privilege of hearing insights from John Hattie, a distinguished educator and researcher. With a focus on empowering educational leaders, Hattie shares valuable perspectives on nurturing learning environments. His wealth of experience and research findings contribute to a compelling discussion that aims to inspire and guide those at the forefront of education. As he delves into the keys to fostering effective learning spaces, Hattie offers a wealth of knowledge that promises to resonate with educators and leaders dedicated to enhancing the educational experience for all.

Hosted by NAESP member, author, and keynote speaker Adam Welcome, NAESP Leadership Conversations is a new way to bring you professional learning and in-depth conversations from thought leaders in the field. Through these conversations, you’ll learn strategies to do your job better with more satisfaction, collaboration, and flexibility and gain tools you can use daily.


 Top Takeaways:

  1. Create Learning Organizations: Foster classrooms that encourage visible learning, where both teachers and students think out loud. Prioritize a culture of continuous learning and open communication.
  2. Build Trustful Environments: Design classrooms based on the trusting atmosphere of staff rooms, with multiple teachers working together create a positive learning environment. Deprivatize classrooms to allow for constructive criticism and collaboration.
  3. Enhance Collective Efficacy: New principals should keep a diary to document experiences and encourage dialogue among peers. Sharing insights creates a culture of collective efficacy, supporting new leaders in their journey.
  4. Encourage Diverse Perspectives: Promote a culture where multiple interpretations of issues are valued, maximizing the diverse skills of every teacher to find effective solutions.
  5. Empower Staff to Find Solutions: Have confidence in the team’s ability to generate better solutions. Foster a collaborative approach to problem-solving, emphasizing the importance of heart and courage in leadership.
  6. Evaluate Ineffective Practices: Encourage regular reflection on unsuccessful strategies. Identify problems collaboratively, listen to the team, have courage, and invest time in leading others toward effective solutions.
  7. Leverage Technology for Transformation: Recognize the transformative potential of AI engines in education. Integrate technology not just for efficiency but also to enhance teaching and learning experiences, breaking the traditional boundaries of the classroom.
  8. Harness the Power of Social Media: Acknowledge the influential role of social media in communication and community building within the school setting. Use technology to facilitate collaboration and engagement beyond the classroom.
  9. See the World Through Students’ Eyes: Encourage leaders to flip roles and follow students around, understanding their perspective. Foster a culture of trust and courage, supporting teachers and students alike.
  10. Foster Courage and Expertise: Leaders should have the courage to explore new approaches, fostering excellence and expertise among staff. Provide permission for educators to take risks and innovate in the pursuit of educational excellence.

Reflection Questions:

  • How can you actively foster a culture of visible learning in classrooms, encouraging both teachers and students to think out loud and share their insights?
  • In what ways can you reshape the design of your classrooms to mirror the trustful atmosphere of your staff rooms, promoting collaboration among multiple teachers?
  • What strategies can be implemented to support new principals in documenting and sharing their experiences through diaries, fostering collective efficacy among emerging leaders?
  • How can you create an environment that values and encourages diverse perspectives, ensuring every teacher feels empowered to contribute their skills to effective problem-solving?