Kelvin Smythe has been critically following Hattie’s work for a long time and is almost his absolute antipode. Smythe follows up on the recent publication of methodological flaws in Hattie’s research (see earlier posts on this blog here and here). In addition, he is critical of the connection between Hattie’s rsearch and the neoliberal education agenda.
Several of us on this Blog Collective have been avid critics of neoliberal trends in education. One of the outcomes of that is the book ‘Het Alternatief’ (The Alternative) that has been quite influential in recent education developments in the Netherlands. An international version of The Alternative will be published next Spring.
Smythe is not mild in his criticism of John Hattie. The reader may decide for themselves if he has a point.
The egregious errors that beset John Hattie’s research are so pervasive as to prove difficult to encompass and thus lay bare – but various insights local and international are at last coming together to achieve just that. This posting argues that this coming together will reveal there is nothing about Hattie’s research that stacks up: the mathematics, statistics, design, curriculum understanding, or presentation.
So influential has Hattie’s research become and Hattie along with it, that to critically examine it, whatever the outcome, if integrity and validity of policy information is valued, should be welcomed by all in school education, in academia, in government bureaucracies, by governments, and by Hattie himself. If readers take a stand (as I have) that the egregious errors are just that, the only path remaining is that Hattie has been astonishingly careless and ignorant in the maths, statistics, research design, understanding of curriculum, and presentation. But…
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