Monday, November 2, 2015

Visible Teaching

Today Mark Maddren our Manaiakalani Outreach Facilitator took the staff through a Visible Teaching session. Mark started the session dictating instructions to us where we each had a piece of paper and pencil. Following his instructions, we should have ended up drawing a simple cassette tape. The end products varied greatly, with some people giving up - sorry Mark! The point being, Mark knew what he wanted us to achieve, but all the knowledge was in his head, we could not see it, we could only hear his verbal instructions.

"Teaching should be a very simple, no surprises process - it's the teacher's responsibility to share the process, not students responsibility to 'get inside the teacher's head'.
Should students be trying to understand the teacher or understand the learning? We need a roadmap ... " (Mark Maddren)

"Why can't we just lay the learning pathway out for them and make it easy?" (Dorothy Burt)

Visible teaching empowers learners by providing them with a visible pathway. They are able to see what the learning looks like and sounds like. They are able to revisit it if they are uncertain, or need to clarify the learning intentions. Learners are able to take control of their learning which leads to greater motivation and engagement.

Visible teaching empowers all learners; parents, teachers, colleagues and the wider community.

Google Sites provide the vehicle for visible teaching. "Using the Learn Create Share framework to manage learning in a digital learning environment that is truly visiblethrough Google Sites leading learning, blogging, sharing outcomes and highly effective teaching practice, has enabled this accelerated rate of progress" (Professor Stuart McNaughton, Auckland University, Woolf Fisher Research). Mc Naughton is referring to the progress of students in the Manaiakalani Project.

Learn Create Share, Google Sites and digital technology has the capacity to transform teaching and learning by removing confusion and uncertainty from a learner's perspective. All learners are entitled to know what they are learning, and our role as teachers is to make this process as clear and visible as possible. We now have the tools to do this!

Thanks for a great session Mark!


  1. And thanks for sharing this Gary. I share your frustration with the dictated drawing! Not my forte at the best of times.

  2. I shudder to think what my "guessing what's in the teachers head" would look like. Thank goodness we are moving to make learning visible together.


Please structure your comments as follows:
Positive - Something done well
Thoughtful - A sentence to let us know you actually read/watched or listened to what they had to say
Helpful - Give some ideas for next time or Ask a question you want to know more about