“I believe there are 10 indicators for parents when it comes to recognising a good school: 1) In the playground, do the students look each other in the eye? Or do they avoid each other, or sit in cliques; 2) Diversity breeds fresh thinking. Can they show you genuine evidence it is encouraged? 3) How do they measure success? By the achievements of the few or of the many? 4) Ask to meet the best teacher. If they tell you they're all good, they're not thinking clearly. 5) Who do students turn to? Every student should have someone who knows how they are doing and will spend time with them? 6) Do new students make friends in the first month? It is a critical indicator for success: how does the school make sure it happens with all students? 7) Do they like mistakes? Learning starts from not knowing, so do they embrace that? Do students feel confident enough to talk about errors or not knowing something? 8) Are students "assessment capable" in this school. Can they talk about how well they are doing, where they are now and going next? 9) Do they use acceleration for all? Are students enabled to learn at different speeds? 10) What feedback do students get? Ask - "what did you get told about your work today"? And, go to My School web site and look at the two schools – especially under NAPLAN and similar schools, which makes comparisons to similar schools. Making friends in the first month is important …” (John Hattie, personal communication, September 22, 2012).
Articles in this section
- What is the difference between transformational and instructional leaders?
- What can a school leader do to shift the mind set of teachers and parents and make a difference?
- Why are some of the other school variables such as policies, buildings, school size, and curriculum ruled out in the Visible Learning research?
- An increasing number of parents request delayed start for Kindergarten. The belief is this will give them a “boost” over their classmates. The research I have found does not suggest this is true but I wondered if your research had any further information?
- My elementary school is contemplating departmentalization. Is departmentalization simply team teaching?
- What are your thoughts on innovative learning spaces?
- What does the research say about what effective principals do when they walk through classrooms? Is there a resource you can refer us to?
- What is the evidence for the 1.57 effect size for collective teacher efficacy?
- My school shortened the school day but is now getting push-back from parents. Do you have anything to help in the discussion with parents regarding the length of the school day?
- If there is any other research that you feel might be useful for parents like myself who are trying to make a decision about primary school education, I would greatly appreciate your recommendation. As a parent, choosing a school is challenging!