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Hidden Lives of Learners

The Hidden Lives of Learners takes the reader deep into the hitherto undiscovered world of the learner. It explores the three worlds which together shape a student’s learning – the public world of the teacher, the highly influential world of peers, and the student’s own private world and experiences. What becomes clear is that just because a teacher is teaching, does not mean students are learning.

Using a unique method of data collection through meticulous recording -audio, video, observations, interviews, pre and posttests - and the collation and analysis of what occurred inside and outside the classroom, Graham Nuthall has definitively documented what is involved for most students to learn and retain a concept. In the author’s lifetime the significance of his discoveries and the rare mix of quantitative and qualitative methods were widely recognised and continue to be one of the foundation stones of evidence-based quality education.

This book is the culmination of Professor Graham Nuthall’s forty years of research on learning and teaching. It is written with classroom teachers and teachers of teachers in mind. But realising time was short and that his life’s work was laid out in learned papers for fellow researchers, he wrote this brief but powerful book for a much wider audience as well: for all those who seek a better understanding of classroom learning.

After completing his PhD at the University of Illinois, Graham Nuthall returned to take up academic positions at the University of Canterbury New Zealand. Throughout his long and distinguished career he continued to work closely with his academic colleagues in the USA and other countries

He served on the editorial boards of international journals including Journal of Education for Teaching, Social Psychology of Education, Journal of Classroom Interaction and was Joint Editor of Teaching and Teacher Education: an International Journal of Research and Studies. His work has been translated into several languages and he was a visiting fellow at Stanford, London, Illinois and other universities. The recipient of many awards including The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Science and Technology Medal, The McKenzie Award for Excellence in Research in Education, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, his students and those he worked with remember him as warm, empathetic, and inspiring.

"Teachers who care about students and learning will be fascinated by the student voices that speak on the pages of this book, and what those voices reveal about learning in classroom settings, The Hidden Lives of Learners is a generous gift from Graham Nuthall to teachers everywhere."
- Greta Morine-Dershimer

"The most important education researcher we never heard of" 

Read a teacher review - Chartered College of Teaching, UK