Explicit instruction has a large quantity of supporting evidence. This means that it is ripe for subversion by those who would like to lend its credibility to less effective practices. It is important to appropriately challenge such attempts when we encounter them.
Here are some things that are definitely not supported by the evidence base that supports explicit teaching.
1. A little just-in-time teaching
Explicit teaching is a whole system that is planned and sequenced, progressing through the stages of I-do, we-do and you-do. It can contain open ended tasks and the appropriate time in this sequence. The key defining feature is that new concepts are fully explained when students first meet them – we might even suggest they are ‘over-explained’ in order to prevent the formation of misconceptions.
Barak Rosenshine summarises this process well. I also like Blaise Joseph’s definition in his recent report for the Centre for Independent…
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