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What is Visible Learning for Literacy?

Visible Learning for Literacy offers a strategic and coherent approach to learning by applying Hattie’s effect sizes to literacy within the three-phase model. This approach empowers educators to select those high-yield literacy practices, plan lessons, and informs them on what works best in each phase of the learning.

Learning Defined: The Three-Phase Model

  1. Surface Learning is essential. It establishes the foundation for deepening knowledge by helping learners acquire and then consolidate learning.
  2. Deep Learning occurs when students assimilate knowledge and integrate it with existing knowledge. To do this, they use metacognitive strategies and move toward becoming self-determining learners.
  3. Transfer moves students from deep learning to the ability to apply previous learning to new situations by making connections across a continuum, from situations that are closely related to other increasingly more novel situations.


  • Identify the difference between effective strategies for developing students surface, deep, and transfer learning.
  • Describe the effect sizes and rationale for specific strategies that impact students’ learning.
  • Identify ways to determine impact of specific approaches on students’ learning.
  • Shows how to build successful relationships with students, critical to long-term student gains
  • Provides proven literacy strategies that work best at each phase of learning and offers built-in lessons and exercises
  • Explains learning intentions and success criteria and shows why they are critical to student success
  • Demonstrates how to use effect size— the magnitude of impact that a particular strategy has on student learning—and other pre- and post-assessment other assessment tools to measure student learning


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