This disregard for ‘passivity’ is, in my view, a philosophical deficiency. In Gerd Biesta’s work, for instance, we find a recent emphasis on passivity. Biesta writes that learning is to give yourself to teaching, so that ‘you are being taught’. Biesta even considers teaching a gift, drawing heavily on postmodern theology that focuses on ‘the weakness of God’ (Biesta, 2013). The concept of ‘passivity’ is also an important part of John Dewey’s work. Dewey says that experience has two interacting aspects, namely a passive and an active part. The passive side of the experience is what Dewey calls ‘imagination’, which is to open experience to the transactions of the outside world, ‘the environment’. The external environment is completely absent from Hattie’s paradigm of learning, because all his basic theories are permeated by solipsism. And if there is not outside world, imagination is unable to operate.

thomas aastrup rømer

Thomas Aastrup Rømer (2019) A critique of John Hattie’s theory of Visible Learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 51:6, 587-598, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2018.148826