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Judged Panel Discussion

Developed by

EBP Project


This activity is designed to engage participants in a debate as a method of learning about different theories in teaching and learning. This particular example engages participants in an active discussion about models of teaching and learning by comparing and contrasting two inquiry models: storytelling and the causal models. It allows educators to explore a different model of practice in an active way, and to reflect on how John Hattie’s claim may influence their practice.


A possible topic of debate is Hattie’s claim that: Demonstrating the learning of students is not a causal exercise; rather it is a rich and complex explanation. It is telling a story. Each debating team presents its arguments for or against this statement. The attached documents include: a description and procedures of the activity; materials needed; roles of each team and team member; and format of the debate.

Context For Use

The activity has been designed for use during a Lead Data Team Professional seminar. The activity and the topic can be adapted for use in a variety of professional development settings using different themes or schools of thought.


  • Knowledge transfer: The activity provides a means for critical reflection in light of evidence.
  • Knowledge sharing: This forum provides an opportunity for the professional exchange of ideas.
  • Knowledge development: It also highlights the need for and the impact of assessment on students.
  • Knowledge mobilization: Participants recognize that data interpretation is a complex task, for example:  the storytelling approach, complemented by the causal model, provides a wider lens through which to interpret what students are doing.  
  • Knowledge acquisition: This activity allows participants to recognize that either model can be used as a ‘door opener’ with teachers, and that the other model can be introduced later.


In this particular example, participants’ Knowledge is activated by understanding that the more familiar causal model is included in storytelling and that storytelling is a broader and far more inclusive approach. They discover that storytelling supports the Quebec Education Program (QEP): evidence should be used to inform teaching and teachers should use their professional judgement.

Find Out More

Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning, Hattie, J., 2011.

Visible Learning Website