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.