I've been facilitating a forum on a topic called Visible Learning. I had not heard of visible learning before and figured I better get acquainted with what the heck we would be talking about.
So it turns out a man by the name John Hattie who has over 15 years of research on what effects student achievement. This is a topic you can get lost in... and I admit I think I did!
So often we hear things in the news about class sizes being the problem, or teacher pay or the actual school building and infrastructure... but really as Hattie puts it this are the distractions in politics (check out Hattie's Politics of Distraction) not the things that effect student achievement significantly.
When you think to your personal education experience you don't think of how many kids were in your class, or if you had been in a different classroom would it have been better, but you think about the teachers that had the biggest impact, both positive and otherwise.
One of the key things I took from this research is the importance of the teacher. The strategies they use, the feedback they gather to really make the experience about the learning it what truly makes the difference. You can be in the same school, but from one year to another you may have a totally different experience as a student.