Explicit Instruction – Dr. Anita Archer

I hope you all had a restful holiday!  Are you feeling refreshed and ready for the new year, or are you already suffering from the winter blues?  I hope you are generating new ideas and creative strategies for learning…

explicit-instructionTo start the new year, here is something from Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching by Anita Archer regarding what research tells us about how kids learn best.  Dr. Archer’s book lays out what works for special-needs learners (and all learners for that matter).  In chapter one, Dr. Archer presents the foundational elements of Explicit Instruction.  I chose to highlight 9 of the 16.

Elements of Explicit Instruction:

  1. Focus instruction on critical content
  2. Sequence skills logically
  3. Break down complex skills and strategies into smaller instructional units
  4. Begin lessons with a clear statement of the lesson’s goals and your expectations
  5. Review prior skills and knowledge before beginning instruction
  6. Provide step-by-step demonstrations
  7. Monitor student performance closely
  8. Provide immediate affirmative and corrective feedback
  9. Help students organize knowledge

Theses are essential teaching elements whether you are a general education teacher, special education teacher, homeschooler, or parent.   One of Dr. Archer’s mantras is, “How well you teach = how well they learn.”  This correlates perfectly with John Hattie’s research, which concludes that far and away, quality of instruction is the number one predictor of student achievement.  We are always teaching kids based on a set of skills and beliefs about how we think kids learn.  I highly recommend Dr. Archer’s book to help inform the way you teach in order to maximize student growth.

I’ll leave you with a short clip of Dr. Archer explaining the use of instructional routines:




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