Lectures are rubbish, right?

Filling the pail

The key difference between lecturing and explicit instruction is that explicit instruction is highly interactive. I advocate for explicit instruction and I am prepared to accept that non-interactive lecturing is a bit rubbish. The reasons are intuitive enough. If you think you might be called upon to respond then you are more likely to pay attention.

This is such an important idea that it is one of the basics that I look for when observing lessons. I do not believe that lesson observation is valid for making many inferences, but I do think you can look for a few key conditions: students complete tasks that teachers set, students don’t talk while the teacher is talking and questioning of the students by the teacher is frequent and unpredictable from the students’ perspective. I don’t really mind how teachers achieve this but I do think it is a prerequisite for effective teaching.

I…

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