The curious case of explicit writing instruction

Filling the pail

This weekend, I was honoured to give a talk at the Language, Literacy and Learning Conference organised by the Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation in Perth. Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that the subject of my talk was explicit instruction. Specifically, I discussed evidence that explicit instruction is more equitable than implicit methods (You can find my PowerPoint slides here although they won’t make much sense if you weren’t at the talk).

One point that I really wanted to stress was that explicit instruction has been tested many times and in many different settings. It’s simply not true that it has only been shown to be effective for teaching basic skills. In Project Follow Through, students in the Direct Instruction condition showed greater gains in higher order outcomes such as reading comprehension and mathematical problem solving. Barak Rosenshine makes the case that explicit ‘strategy instruction’ for reading comprehension…

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