Pedagogy with a Twist

‘It ain’t what we do, it’s the way that we do it!’
Mrs Serena Lewis

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.”   KA Menninger


Whether you love or hate what he has to say, John Hattie and his meta-analysis of Visible Learning has grabbed the world of education and shaken it to its core. If nothing else, he’s got us talking openly about teaching and learning and what this should really look like. He’s made us question pedagogical gimmicks and methods that have been thrust upon us under the guise of ‘quick fix’ solutions. He’s made us aware of the dangers of being lured into galloping gungo-ho, alongside exciting new pedagogical initiatives, without question. He explains, somewhat laboriously, that his study is based on the outcome of ‘student achievement’ and that this is most definitely not the only important outcome. This should be borne in mind. Data research has its limitations and thus, we must be “critical consumers of educational research…what works in education is incredibly nuanced, and there are relatively few absolutes” (Frey, Fisher & Hattie, 2016). For me, more importantly, Hattie (2009) has reminded us of the importance of relational learning: ‘It is teachers who have created positive teacher student relationships that are more likely to have the above average effects on student achievement.” In a 21C world, where assessment data threatens to become more important than the learning experience itself, it is our responsibility to transform our classrooms into learning utopias where risk-taking, positivity, experimentation and creativity are behaviours which become second nature. This can only happen in a classroom where the focus is on connections and relationships. This session will focus on how best to foster such an environment.

Frey, N., Fisher, D. and Hattie, J. (2016). Visible learning for literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Corwin, California.

Hattie, J. (2013). Visible learning: A synthesis of 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement.  Taylor& Francis, London.


Serena has vast experience in teaching English within the UK (A level in GCSE, English Literature, Language and Psychology). Former Head of English and Language, with a responsibility for teaching and learning across a co-educational Derbyshire school, Serena was on the Opinions Panel for England’s lead Examination Board (AQA) working with schools in the Midlands region, embedding literacy skills across the curriculum. She has taught at Knox Grammar School and currently teaches at The King’s School where she is the whole school Literacy Coordinator. Serena has a BSc (1st Class Hons) and has completed both the ‘Leading from the Middle’ and ‘Leadership Pathways’ qualifications with the UK National College of Teaching and Leadership.