Episode 7 – An Interview with John Hattie

Dan asks John Hattie what his thoughts are on the most effective teaching strategy is that can create life-long learners and not just prepare students for exams. This leads to a discussion on standardised exams, flipped learning and project-based learning, as well as the Visible Classroom app.

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Interview with John Hattie by Daniel Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Jigsaw Method

Step 1 Divide students into groups of 5 or 6

Step 2 Appoint one student from each group as the leader

Step 3 Divide the day’s lesson into 5-6 segments.

Step 4 Assign each student to learn one segment.

Step 5 Give students time to learn their segment by reading or watching the content at least twice and become familiar with it.

Step 6 Form temporary “expert groups” where every student in the group has just learnt the same segment.

Step 7 Bring the students back into their original groups.

Step 8 Ask each student to present their segment to the group

Step 9 Float from group to group and observe the process.

Step 10 At the end of the session, assess the material.

For more information on the Jigsaw method click on the button below

The Visible Classroom App

Find out more by visiting the Visible Classroom website or clicking on the relevant App store.


  1. John

    Thanks Daniel, It is interesting that the jigsaw method was not listed in Hattie’s 2009 book nor his 2012 update. In 2018, the Victoria Education Department has implemented it’s 10 High Impact teaching strategies (HITs) to over 50,000 teachers. It is a key initiative, since all our professional assessment & our lesson plans must detail and focus on these 10 strategies. They are based on Hattie’s book and his consultation with Ed Dept. The jigsaw method does not appear in these HITs.

    This shows a problem in an Educational authority deciding on what is important.

    With Hattie now moving from recall of facts toward deeper learning and transfer of knowledge, i would be interested in how these are measured and the details of the studies he used.

    1. Daniel Jackson Post author

      I believe the difference comes in the focus. If the focus is on improving test scores then his list without commentary is fine. But, if like me you are focused on creating life-long learners, and as Hattie says in the interview, this includes students being able to teach themselves, then Hattie is able to shift through his studies and identify the ones that provide the greatest results in this area.
      I must admit I enjoyed reading his books, but I enjoyed talking to him face-to-face even more, as you can see that he is very passionate about students learning, and this learning being authentic, not just for improved test results. He wasn’t them to be critical and creative and can identify different strategies for different circumstances.
      He also is great to talk about the limitations and variations in the studies he analysed. He can clearly see that certain strategies, such as PBL and flipped learning, can have a huge impact on student learning, but only when done well. He is correct in identifying that often these are not done as they should be and therefore do not have the same impact. This I’m sure applies to many approaches and strategies using in education.

  2. John

    thanks Daniel, but that is my question how do studies measure “students being able to teach themselves” or the “deeper Learning” or even the “transfer” that Hattie talks about.

    1. Daniel Jackson Post author

      Hi John.
      Obviously, Hattie would be better able to answer these questions himself and they are fantastic questions. I think the transfer is referring more to the skills learnt and that these skills can be transferred across subject areas. Skills such as research, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
      I think studies can measure students teaching themselves using various methods. It would not be too much to transfer students being able to teach others to teach themselves, but you can also measure their learning when the student is the one driving the learning. That is when they do the research, reading, watching or asking others for help. These are learning skills, and if the student is driving the learning and they learn then I would say they are teaching themselves.
      Deeper learning is the ability to connect ideas and extend them further, while shallow learning is learning one or multiple ideas in isolation. We measure deeper learning all the time when we ask students to explain, analyse or evaluate information because they need to connect ideas and information in this process.
      I’m sure these are incomplete answers, and I will try and ask Hattie these questions if I interview him again. I’m sure he will be able to explain how these things are measured more precisely than I am.
      Thanks for your thoughts and critiques. It helps us to think more deeply about what we are doing and why.

  3. George Lilley

    G’day Daniel, there are many peer reviews which details major errors in Hattie’s work – I think it is important teachers are aware fo them – here’s a couple of summaries – https://visablelearning.blogspot.com/

    A useful thing to do is look at the studies Hattie used for “feedback” he has feedback defined as pretty much anything. He includes studies with background music as feedback, monetary rewards as feedback and a whole host of other questionable things.


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