Explicit Direct Instruction Leads to Academic Success

Explicit Direct Instruction Leads to Academic Success

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As parents, we all want the best for our children, especially when it comes to their education and academic success. But with the abundance of teaching methods and educational approaches out there, it can be overwhelming to determine what truly works best.

One method that has gained significant attention and scientific backing in recent years is Explicit Instruction, also known as Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI). In this article, we will explore the concept of Explicit Direct Instruction, its effectiveness in promoting academic success, and the scientific research supporting its efficacy.

What is Explicit Direct Instruction?

Explicit Direct Instruction (or Explicit Instruction) is a highly structured and systematic teaching approach designed to help students master new skills and concepts through direct and explicit teaching. It involves breaking down complex concepts into smaller, manageable steps and providing clear and concise explanations to students. Teachers using this method emphasise the use of modelling, guided practice, and immediate feedback to ensure students grasp the material thoroughly.

The Power of Step-by-Step Teaching

One of the key strengths of Explicit Direct Instruction lies in its step-by-step teaching approach. By presenting information in a structured manner, teachers help students build a solid foundation of knowledge and gradually advance to more complex ideas. This ensures that no gaps are left in their understanding, enabling students to tackle higher-level concepts with confidence.

Scientific Research on Explicit Direct Instruction

Numerous studies have examined the effectiveness of Explicit Direct Instruction, and the results are consistently positive. Barak Rosenshine, a leading educational psychologist, summarised many studies of Explicit Instruction. He found that explicit teaching led to substantial learning gains for students across various subjects and grade levels. Rosenshine highlighted that clear explanations, modelling, checking for student understanding and scaffolded practice were key components in promoting student achievement.

Furthermore, Visible Learning by J. Hattie is a comprehensive research-based meta-analysis which examines the factors influencing student achievement. It highlights that explicit direct instruction significantly positively impacts students' learning outcomes, particularly in reading comprehension, mathematics, and problem-solving skills.

Implementing Explicit Direct Instruction in the Classroom

Now that we understand the power of Explicit Direct Instruction, let's explore how teachers can effectively implement this method in the classroom.

  • Clear Learning Objectives: Teachers should establish clear learning objectives for each lesson. This allows students to understand what they are expected to learn and achieve during the session.
  • Model the Process: Teachers should explicitly demonstrate how to approach a problem or task, providing a step-by-step breakdown of the process. This modelling helps students understand the required skills and thought processes.
  • Guided Practice: After modelling, teachers should engage students in guided practice. This involves providing structured exercises and immediate feedback to help students apply the newly learned skills independently.
  • Gradual Release of Responsibility: As students demonstrate proficiency, teachers gradually release more responsibility to them, allowing them to practise independently while still providing support when needed.
  • Regular Assessment: Continuous assessment and feedback are vital in Explicit Instruction. Teachers should monitor student progress regularly, check for their understanding, and adjust instruction accordingly to address individual learning needs.

The Role of Parents in Supporting Explicit Direct Instruction at Home

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children's learning journey through Explicit Direct Instruction. Here are some ways parents can reinforce this method at home:

  • Communication with Teachers: Stay in touch with your child's teachers to understand the learning objectives and methods used in the classroom. This way, you can align your support at home with what's being taught at school.
  • Encourage Practice: Encourage your child to practise new skills regularly. Provide opportunities for guided practice and offer positive reinforcement when they show improvement.
  • Create a Structured Environment: Establish a structured and encouraging learning environment at home. Minimise distractions and designate a specific study area for your child.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Communicate clear expectations about academic goals and encourage your child to ask questions when they need help.

Australian Christian College - Singleton’s Success using Explicit Instruction

Australian Christian College Singleton has unlocked the key to academic success through the powerful teaching method known as Explicit Direct Instruction. Facing challenges including governance issues, declining student enrolment, and low academic standards, the School's future changed dramatically when it embraced this research-based teaching approach and the results have been truly transformative.

The School's teachers underwent comprehensive training and received mentorship from educational experts to implement this method effectively. The success has been evident in the remarkable improvement in student academic achievement, reflected in standardised test scores and increased student enrolments.

The School’s commitment to ongoing professional development and instructional coaching has been instrumental in helping teachers refine their instructional practices and cater to the diverse needs of their students effectively. By integrating explicit instructional strategies into their approach, teachers at Australian Christian College - Singleton have personalised instruction, and provided students with the necessary support to make significant educational gains.

The academic achievements of students at Australian Christian College - Singleton serve as a testament to the effectiveness of Explicit Direct Instruction. Through this structured and systematic teaching approach, students have developed strong basic skills, a deeper conceptual understanding, a greater engagement in their learning and a culture of educational success.

Explicit Direct Instruction has emerged as an evidence-based teaching approach, consistently linked to improved academic success. By breaking down complex concepts into manageable steps and providing clear explanations, this method equips students with a strong foundation for learning. Scientific research supports its efficacy, making it a valuable tool in promoting student achievement across various subjects and grade levels.

As parents, we can support Explicit Direct Instruction at home by staying informed about the teaching methods used in the classroom, encouraging regular practice, and providing a structured learning environment. By working together with teachers, we can pave the way for our children's academic success and empower them with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their educational journey.

Dr Terry Harding

Dr Terry Harding

Terry Harding has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education from the University of Sydney; a Diploma in Christian Doctrine and Practice from Emmaus Bible School; a Masters degree in Education and a PhD in Education from the Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma in Counselling from Australian Institute of Family Counselling. Terry has taught in Christian Schools for 15 years. He has been a principal of 5 Christian schools and has managed both Christian homeschooling and distance education.

Available for comment on: online school, home education, explicit direct instruction.