Explicit instruction involves breaking down what students need to learn into smaller learning outcomes and modelling each step so that students can see what is expected of them. Providing explicit instruction limits the mental effort for students allowing them to process new information more effectively.
Explicit instruction is effective across a variety of contexts
To understand whether explicit instruction is effective across different contexts, AERO conducted a review of more than 328 studies. The review found that explicit instruction is an effective teaching practice across a variety of contexts and for different subgroups of students. Studies conducted across various locations suggest that explicit instruction:
- has a positive impact on student achievement in mathematics, reading, spelling, problem solving and science
- works for primary and secondary students
- benefits students with and without additional learning needs.
Because of this, explicit instruction is likely to work in most contexts.
Using the practice
To be effective, explicit instruction needs to be implemented well. See below for more information on the ‘things to know’ when using the practice.
Planning for explicit instruction
Archer and Hughes (2011) provide a useful planning guide with their 6 teaching functions of explicit instruction. By cycling through this planning process, you can deliberately embed explicit instruction in your lesson processes.
To plan explicit instruction activities and supports as referenced by Archer and Hughes, it may also be helpful to work backwards from where you want your students to be at the end of the learning session to see how you can slowly remove scaffolds and supports to enable student mastery.
Snapshots of practice
Explicit instruction may look different in different contexts. See below examples of explicit instruction in a variety of classrooms and settings.
Here you will find tools to help you implement explicit instruction in your classroom or setting.