We got into a little difference of opinion around here recently about the definition of explicit teaching. Okay, well maybe not a difference of opinion, maybe a full on disagreement. We got into issues of style and philosophy of education and all kinds of other things.
So I decided to seek out the experts on this one. What is commonly agreed upon about what it means to teach explicitly? What is essentially not up for argument anymore.
We came up with the following five characteristics
What to do
: the teacher MUST tell the students specifically what to do
: preferably, the teacher will give the new strategy a name (in order to help students access it later)
: there MUST be a clear, specific task for the students to complete
How to do it
:the teacher MUST tell the students HOW to go about doing what is being asked
: the “how” must actually result in being able to DO the task
: the teacher MUST demonstrate the process, or the “how” so that students can see the process in action
Opportunity for Practice
: students MUST have an opportunity to practice the new strategy
: teachers must either provide corrective feedback OR clearly assess for future action (another group lesson)
When to do it
: students must be told the conditions or non-conditions for using this new skill or strategy. This helps with over-generalizations into inappropriate application of the skill.