Teaching & Learning

Serpentine Primary School promotes the consistent use of Explicit Instruction in every classroom.  Explicit instruction involves directly teaching students the content or skill to be learned, using clear and unambiguous language.  Teacher modelling and then teacher guidance is followed by scheduled opportunities for practice.  Student/teacher interaction is very high and student engagement is essential.

We know from evidence that teaching has a powerful influence on student attainment, and different teaching approaches vary in their effectiveness.

What individual teachers do in class is pivotal for student learning, with teaching variables - including the teaching models used - accounting for 30% of the differential in student achievement. Research has found that teaching variables are more influential on student achievement than background measures such as socio-economic status.

In Australia, it was found that differences between classrooms within schools were greater than differences between schools. Students in classes with very effective teachers for three years in a row achieved 50% more learning than those in classes with ineffective teachers over the same period.

There are essentially two approaches to teaching. The first is 'explicit' or 'direct' - I tell you - and the second is 'discovery' or 'inquiry' - you find out for yourself.

There is a strong body of research supporting a systematic, explicit approach, particularly when it involves learning new concepts and operations, and for students who struggle with learning. By contrast, approaches that are student-led, unsystematic, and rely largely on personal discovery have not been supported by evidence.

Click here to view an outline of an Explicit Instruction lesson