A critique of John Hattie’s theory of Visible Learning

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In this paper, I work out a five-stringed criticism of John Hattie’s theory of Visible Learning. First, I argue that the theory is a theory of evaluation that denies education as such. Second, I show that there are problems with the dependent variable, learning, i.e. the effect of a given intervention. Thirdly, I show that Hattie's theory belongs to the radical constructivist paradigm. Thus, the problems of constructivism, i.e. problems of normativity and the outside world, walks directly into Hattie’s concept of teaching, resulting in a double breakdown of the essence of teaching. Fourth, I argue that Hattie’s concept of feedback has a centralizing trend which ultimately has the potential to transform the country’s educational activities into a big hierarchical and data-driven organism. Finally, I show that Hattie’s reference to Karl Popper’s theory of “three worlds” is based on a highly problematic reading, where Popper’s objective world is reduced to a subset of a radical subjectivity.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEducational Philosophy and Theory
Vol/bind51
Nummer6
Sider (fra-til)587-598
Antal sider12
ISSN0013-1857
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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