Reading Group and Hattie (1): trepidation, preparation and discussion

This post was written by JCH (after attending our staff Journal Club for the first time). The topic was Hattie (reading list here).


Well I have just attended my first NDHS reading group.

I woke this morning with a dose of trepidation, not just because I had a busy day and my lunchtime break had now been taken up by Reading Group, but also because I was looking forward to discussing Educational Research with other teaching professionals.


I prepped with interest, reading all suggested articles and, as often happens, soon drifted off piste, and looked at something else.

Coming from a pharmaceutical research background I started to read about effect sizes in Medical Education, and found that there were similarities in approach, with Hattie also using magnitude (as well as just significance) to judge interventions.

So I began to widen my reading. The Magic Criteria outlined how other criteria could be used to measure effect sizes (Magnitude, Articulation, Generality, Interestingness, Credibility) and examined how individual criteria could be directly compared or integrated.

I came to the conclusion that Hattie’s research should be seen for what it is: a meta-analysis using data from a huge database of studies, with no control group and with many variants (as mentioned in the blogs by Gary Jones and Ollie Orange).

Discussion and conclusions

The Reading Group lived up to my expectations: interesting lunchtime conversations with like-minded professionals. I remain both sceptical of Hattie’s analysis and grateful to him for pulling together the studies; for making Educators actually meta-analyse.

And as for me. I feel like my Educational Third Eye has finally opened.




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