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November 06

Gail Brown

Modelling & Explicit instruction work, no matter what they're called! (Part 1)

  • Mon 7th Jan 2013
  • Gail

Maybe this seems like a “crazy” image of modelling on a catwalk – and still it got your attention – great modelling, as part of explicit instruction should do that, in whatever topic, whatever curriculum and whatever grade you “dress up” in – get your students attention, show them how to learn – and they will likely learn!

I started in education a while ago, and one of the first theories I was presented with was constructivism or discovery learning. I found this quite challenging, as I started in teaching because one of my children was having difficulty learning to read – so my first hand experience had already told me that this way of teaching and learning doesn’t work for everyone…

Later, interestingly, I learned about explicit instruction when my special education studies began – and this rang true for me – it was how I had learned so many skills during my life, from riding a bike, to making a cake, and driving a car. Back then, I was told to read Rosenshine & Stevens (1986, Teaching Functions), and this was called explicit teaching or effective instruction. And, that’s stuck with me ever since – maybe I’m showing my age here?

Since then, it has been renamed by different authors and teachers – so many different labels for the same content, the same effective strategies! This has become part of my life as an educator – if it’s not a curriculum update then it’s another researcher coming up with the same ideas and giving these a new name?

Today, in education and in research, you might read about this as the Gradual Release of Responsibility – and this is NOT something new – it’s exactly the same as Rosenshine & Stevens, with a new name!

Another, easier to remember naming of these strategies, would be:

I do, we do, you do!

That’s sweet and simple to remember – and I do like it – and it’s exactly the same too! So, maybe give this a try in your classroom, and see if it might work for you? I've got more to say on this, so this theme will continue in a day or so, stay tuned for more!


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