I first saw Matthew Savage talking about what he calls The Mona Lisa Effect at a COBIS conference in London. Like so many of my fellow delegates, I was impressed by his energetic eloquence and his humorous insight into the way we use (and often misuse) data in our schools. A few months later I jumped at the opportunity to welcome him to the British School in Tokyo to work with some of our staff and to offer a similar presentation to teachers from international schools across the city; I was delighted with the response. Anyone who can make data interesting and entertaining on a wet Friday afternoon after a long school week deserves respect! Thank you, Matthew – the conversations have continued here long after your flight home to Amman.
Brian Christian, Principal, the British School of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Thank you so much for all your help and support. Yesterday went really well. The parents and students all seemed very happy that we were sharing the results of the CAT4 with them – the look on one student’s face when I told her she scored 141 in the quantitative battery was an absolute picture, which will stay with me for a long time. I would never have realised how many exceptionally intelligent students we have without doing the CAT4, and we have also picked up on several students who need support. I feel like we have made discoveries that could actually change our students’ lives and none of this would have happened if I hadn’t watched your webinar, so I feel that you have played a huge part in this for which I am truly grateful. Come back and see us again soon!
Melody Sunman, Academic Leader, King’s College School, La Moraleja, Madrid, Spain
I recently attended a workshop on Assessment – methodology and its use – provided by Matthew Savage. I went in with Einstein’s words in my head: “There’s an awful lot that can be measured but not much of it is worth measuring”. I guess it was one of those days. But…
Matthew Savage was totally inspirational, without being the hollow charismatic drum, and highly informative. His own pedagogic method was startlingly good. He started with (and flipped back to) a thought provoking PP with crazy-good graphics and metaphors. (Ayers rock is on its end: what you see is not at all that you might discover digging deeper!) He then, eased people into undertaking the most complex data analysis tasks alone and then in groups, in a quiet way that made you feel you were skimming a Sunday Newspaper with complete ease of mind. Yet, he had us working hard. That is a real skill. He ended with a real time, online quiz to reinforce our learning.
I write as a seasoned provider of Leadership Coaching and a former doctoral student in Education Leadership, a subject on which I still research and write. Here is a recent White Paper published for the Education Partners: http://www.theeducationpartners.com/articles/2015/04/the-improvement-effect-brightening-the-futures-of-550-million-students/
If ever I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with this man, I would.
Dr Peter Davies, Principal, Greenwood House School, Lagos, Nigeria; Consultant in Leadership and School Development
Matthew was invited to speak at MBIS, in regard to assessment in general and the use of our GL testing results, to enhance the teaching and learning at our school.
The first session “the Mona Lisa Effect” was extremely well received by our own faculty and by other educationalists invited from leading schools in the Pune area. It was enlightening and the relevance to school improvement was clearly presented.
I would recommend Matthew to any school looking at their current use of testing data or considering introducing standardised testing as a means to work towards greater school improvement.
Helen Sharrock, Primary Principal, Mercedes Benz International School, Pune, India
This is data analysis without tears!
Bukky Adewuyi, Junior School Head, Lekki British School, Lagos, Nigeria
Matthew Savage gave an informative and thought provoking presentation to the staff at Nagoya International School. He led us through the concept of having a more a holistic approach to data (using attainment, aptitude and attitudinal data) and how to use this data to understand our student’s learning journeys. Matthew made great use of actual school data and was able to present case studies of current students to demonstrate to teachers the stories data can tell us about our students. Since Matthew’s presentation we have started the process of using data in this more effectively, in particular improving our collection of both attitudinal and aptitude data to fully support student need in our school. A huge thank you to Matthew for starting us on this path.
Luci Willis, Director of Teaching, Learning and Inclusion, Nagoya International School, Japan
After the training on The Mona Lisa Effect, it has become clear what it means to personalise learning for our pupils. This seem like the missing piece in a pack of puzzles. It made me realise that the ‘small pieces of attitude and aptitude ‘ which in most cases are ignored, is what truly makes a difference and creates the big picture in what our students can achieve in school. I also understand that the major responsibility of a teacher is to find out what lies within each child and help them flourish.
Kelechi Igbokwe, Senior Headteacher (Academic), Grange School, Lagos, Nigeria
I had two big take-aways from this session. The first was the amazing data that can be gathered about students using the CAT4 and PASS and the second the analogies about data that Mr. Savage used throughout the session… He showed a photo of a man using a metal detector on a large beach and then said, “Think if we took the metal detector away, but placed flags on the beach where treasure could be found. It would be much simpler for the man to go to these flags and dig. Sure, he wouldn’t find something very valuable at each flag, but something would be there none the less. That is how data works. It is like a flag on a large beach pointing to something interesting and potentially useful to us.” Pure genius!
T. S. Bray, Director of Educational Technology, Cheongna Dalton School, Korea
The most profound hour of learning I have had in years.