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Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12 : Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning - Douglas Fisher

Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12

Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning

By: Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Hattie

Paperback | 12 April 2016 | Edition Number 1

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“Every student deserves a great teacher, not by chance, but by design” — Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, & John Hattie

What if someone slipped you a piece of paper listing the literacy practices that ensure students demonstrate more than a year’s worth of learning for a year spent in school? Would you keep the paper or throw it away?

We think you’d keep it. And that’s precisely why acclaimed educators Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie wrote Visible Learning for Literacy. They know teachers will want to apply Hattie’s head-turning synthesis of more than 15 years of research involving millions of students, which he used to identify the instructional routines that have the biggest impact on student learning.

These practices are “visible” for teachers and students to see, because their purpose has been made clear, they are implemented at the right moment in a student’s learning, and their effect is tangible. Yes, the “aha” moments made visible by design.

With their trademark clarity and command of the research, and dozens of classroom scenarios to make it all replicable, these authors apply Hattie’s research, and show you:
  • How to use the right approach at the right time, so that you can more intentionally design classroom experiences that hit the surface, deep, and transfer phases of learning, and more expertly see when a student is ready to dive from surface to deep.
  • Which routines are most effective at specific phases of learning, including word sorts, concept mapping, close reading, annotating, discussion, formative assessment, feedback, collaborative learning, reciprocal teaching, and many more.
  • Why the 8 mind frames for teachers apply so well to curriculum planning and can inspire you to be a change agent in students’ lives—and part of a faculty that embraces the idea that visible teaching is a continual evaluation of one’s impact on student’s learning.
“Teachers, it’s time we embrace the evidence, update our classrooms, and impact student learning in wildly positive ways,” say Doug, Nancy, and John. So let’s see Visible Learning for Literacy for what it is: the book that renews our teaching and reminds us of our influence, just in time.

About the Authors

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an IRA Celebrate Literacy Award, NCTE’s Farmer Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is Professor of Literacy in the Department of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. The recipient of the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Reading Conference, she is also a teacher-leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College and a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California.

Dr. John Hattie has been Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. He was previously Professor of Education at the University of Auckland. His research interests are based on applying measurement models to education problems. He is president of the International Test Commission, served as advisor to various Ministers, chaired the NZ performance based research fund, and in the last Queens Birthday awards was made “Order of Merit for New Zealand” for services to education. He is a cricket umpire and coach, enjoys being a Dad to his young men, besotted with his dogs, and moved with his wife as she attained a promotion to Melbourne.
Industry Reviews
Focussing on the primary education years, this book focusses on how to make best use of visible learning strategies to teach literacy skills. A very useful and nicely organised book that will be valuable for teachers who are keen to develop their practice in this area.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University

May 4, 2018


Quite possibly the best book in our methods course. One student, a returning teacher, said he wished he had this book earlier in his teaching career. Often it is difficult for teachers to turn research into action because the practical application is missing. In this book, the practical application is tied closely to the research, which makes this a powerful tool for teachers.

Dr Ted Murcray
School Of Education, California Baptist University

July 13, 2017


A great summary of the data and how it relates to literacy. Will be recommended to our students.

Miss Linda Lapere
School of Education, Social Work &, Dundee University

October 19, 2016


Students using this book as a basis for reference, discussion, and documentation have found it to be invaluable. I concur.

Tom Lueschow
School Of Education, Viterbo University

October 5, 2016


I'm not sure I am going to adopt this as my main/required text for this course, but may recommend it as an optional supplemental text. I love the primer on effect sizes and am motivated to go back and read the 2 previous books by these authors on Visible Learning.

Dr Kelly Kathleen Metz
Speech Hearing Sciences Dept, Univ Of Southern Mississippi
September 25, 2016


Like the research basis of text. Considering for grad literacy course with heavy research emphasis.

Dr James N. Nichols
School Of Education, Nyack College-Rockland

June 1, 2016

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