See how the Year 1 teachers at Loxton Primary School use explicit instruction in their classroom.
Watch Explicit Instruction | Loxton Primary School | Australian Education Research Organisation on YouTube.

Duration: 3:35

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.


Emily Romeo: Explicit instruction is giving students a clear learning intent for their lesson and then breaking up that lesson into smaller parts. We minimise cognitive overload by ensuring that we have a clear goal for all our students and making sure that at the beginning of the lesson they're aware of what we're doing, and that particular focus is what they're needing as well. So we're building on what they've already learned and then moving them and progressing them along.

Domenica Tootel: I deliver explicit instruction in different formats. So it might be in a physical way, so where we did the head, shoulders, knees, toes, with sounding out the phonemes. We might have the word on the board with the blue dots where they follow along and they sound and then blend, and we also provide that same thing using the sound boxes on the whiteboards, and we might even do the same thing again with the word building using the graphings and the sound boxes. B-R-AI-D. Your turn.

Students: B-R-AI-D, braid.

Domenica Tootel: Well done, okay, next one.

Emily Romeo: We'd start with a whole group and we give them a goal to start with, and then we move into our literacy groups, which is where we divide our students up into need spaces and then focus explicitly on their needs that they have for that time.

Students: THR-A-SH, thrash.

Emily Romeo: Okay, can you build that [crosstalk 00:01:32]. We've been getting some amazing results for their outcomes through explicit instruction.

Domenica Tootel: We've had over 80% of students reach that benchmark level at the end of term 3 in 2020 and 2021. The process of switching to more explicit teaching has made me feel like I'm making more of a difference in the growth of my students' learning. And you can really see it when we look at the data as well. But it's also enabled us as – just for the Year 1 teachers, as an example – we're able to collaborate with each other and really share the planning because we're all doing the same thing at the same time. And then we can have those conversations with each other as well about particular students. And if we want to try something different, because something might not be working for a particular student, that gives us that opportunity to be able to try that as well.

Emily Romeo: Page, page. Explicit teaching fits into my teaching toolkit, giving us baseline data to work on, continue monitoring across the whole year, making sure there's no students that are left behind, that we are bringing everyone – showing the progress as we go along – and keeping on that planning review data cycle.

Domenica Tootel: My number one piece of advice for implementing explicit teaching would be to just jump in there and do it, get that baseline data, and do the constant monitoring of the student's progress and then that can really guide your teaching and where you need to go. And also, use the other teachers around you because you can really work as a team when you're using an explicit teaching model.

Emily Romeo: Number one piece advice is to do it. Can I say that?

Keywords: teacher development, professional learning, practice implementation