What is Explicit Teaching?

Explicit teaching involves directing student attention toward specific learning in a highly structured environment. It is teaching that is focused on producing specific learning outcomes.

Topics and contents are broken down into small parts and taught individually. It involves explanation, demonstration and practise. Children are provided with guidance and structured frameworks. Topics are taught in a logical order and directed by the teacher.

Another important characteristic of explicit teaching involves modeling skills and behaviours and modeling thinking. This involves the teacher thinking out loud when working through problems and demonstrating processes for students. The attention of students is important and listening and observation are key to success.

What is its purpose?

Explicit teaching is useful for introducing topics and specific skills. It provides guided instruction in the basic understanding of required skills, which students canthen build on through practice, collaboration, repetition, hands on activities and developmental play.

How do I do it?

Explicit instruction is a sequence of supports:

  1. setting a purpose for learning
  2. telling students what to do
  3. showing them how to do it
  4. guiding their hands-on application of the new learning.

Explicit instruction begins with setting the stage for learning, followed by a clear explanation of what to do (telling), followed by modeling of the process (showing), followed by multiple opportunities for practice (guiding) until independence is attained. Explicit instruction moves systematically from extensive teacher input and little student responsibility initially — to total student responsibility and minimal teacher involvement at the conclusion of the learning cycle.

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