Education experts who gathered in Shanghai at the second Cambridge Horizons seminar agreed that openness by teachers and learners about processes and outcomes of learning was potentially relevant and of interest in an Asian context. However, some thought that in Asian contexts some interventions might have different effects from their equivalents in the West.
The seminar addressed what the evidence is from research on the practices and innovations which make the most difference to teaching and learning, and what this means in Asia.
Following many initiatives to improve the quality and relevance of education in schools in Asia – with such changes being implemented very quickly – it has never been more important to find a way of learning from research that is already available before investing in interventions which may not have been shown to be particularly effective.
Debra Masters, director of Visible Learningplus, New Zealand, explained how her work with John Hattie – the author of Visible Learning (2009) – brought together the findings of over 800 pieces of “meta-analysis” of the reports of thousands of research projects aiming to quantify the effect of particular factors or changes on student achievement. Ms Masters explained how visible learning occurs when “teachers see learning through the eyes of the student and students see themselves as their own teachers”.
Dr Huang Liyan, Research fellow from Guangdong Academy of Education, and Isabel Nisbet, senior education adviser for Cambridge International Examinations led the discussions, focusing on what this means for Asia.