Barak Rosenshine's seminal Principles of Instruction article was first published in the American Educator in 2012. In the article, Rosenshine (1930-2017), Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, presents '10 research based principles of instruction, along with suggestions for classroom practice'.
Included in the 10 principles are ideas such as:
Considering the accepted wisdom of the ideas, it is easy to dismiss the article as a offering nothing new; after all, who doesn't begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning? Who doesn't ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students?
Read the article carefully though and it really is a comprehensive checklist for good practice.
For example, when you review previous learning at the beginning of a lesson do you give specific consideration to the key vocabulary, facts, concepts and procedures that are important for the understanding of new - and in particular challenging - material? Do the reviews encourage the development of student expertise? Are the reviews planned to manage the limitations of working memory in preparation for the teaching of more complex information?
In terms of questioning, is it a key feature of your lessons or an adjunct to exposition? Do you use a blend of recall and process questions? Do your questions require a response from all students or only those who have the confidence to volunteer?
Next time you have the time and space to reflect, read Principles of Instruction again. Nearly a decade after publication, it's still really good.
As many teachers move from the innovation to reflection phases of online learning, Paul Kirschner offers 'Ten Tips for Emergency Remote Learning' in this excellent Tom Bennett hosted #researchEDHome video:
"Because of the Corona/Covid-19 pandemic, we’re all going through a period that none of us has ever experienced. With respect to teaching and learning, kids can’t attend school and we must help them learn at home. And this might last weeks or months. Fortunately, online education offers a solution, but the instructional techniques involved are not (completely) the same as what we do in the classroom during face-to-face education. This presentation will present 10 useful tips to help you and your students."
This rapid evidence assessment examines the existing research (from 60 systematic reviews and meta-analyses) for approaches that schools could use, or are already using, to support the learning of pupils while schools are closed due to Covid-19.