The researchEd Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction.
Edited by Adam Boxer and Tom Bennett.
John Catt Educational Ltd. 2019
The second book in researchED’s series of guides does not disappoint. It’s another pedagogical hammer worthy of being wielded by Thor himself. It is so good, you should buy two copies, one for each eye (just so you don’t miss anything).
Anyway, back to the business at hand.
Charge up your magic hammer folks, we are going to another level!
What is researchED?
researchED is a global, educator-led organisation founded by Tom Bennett in 2013. Their goals include bridging the gap between education research and practice, helping teachers improve their practice by exploring the latest evidence and research and advising how to apply it in a classroom setting.
The researchED Series.
The researchED series is a collection of several editions that tackle the most important topics in education. All of which are short, accessible and punchy, perfect for any teacher who wants to get the lowdown on current edu-research without wading through countless weighty tomes.
The researchEd series is like an icebreaker ship, clearing a path through the Arctic pack ice that is pedagogy.
Adam Boxer is the head of science in a North London academy. He specialises in the application of cognitive science in the classroom along with teacher training and CPD. He is also a regular researchED presenter and an active member of the Chartered College of Teaching. He is also the founder of the brilliant CogSciSci website, of which he is still the managing editor.
Boxer introduces this powerful book by charting his journey of enlightenment, from newbie teacher, who, like most of us, took on board what we were taught in teacher training because we assumed that they were the best way to teach.
He then goes on to describe his discovery that some of these principles, that were the foundations of his classroom practice were, indeed, ineffective. This lead to a journey of discovery into cognitive science and direct instruction.
What is in the Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction?
In the 147 pages of The Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction, there is present, the most convincing argument for the use of direct instruction and explicit instruction; its far-reaching progeny.
The first section, by Kris Boulton, examines the story of Direct Instruction from its conception (Project Follow Through) by Siegfried Englemann, to the reasons why, even with great evidence that shows how well it works, it is not as acknowledged as it should be.
If you are not totally hooked and excited (I was) by the end of section one, you either shouldn’t be teaching, you can’t read or you’ve smoked too many “herbal” cigarettes!
Any fisherman would give his right leg for a hook this good!
The rest of the book reels you in till you are chomping at the bit to get back to your classroom and/or banging your head against the wall as to why direct instruction wasn’t even mentioned on your teacher training course.
Spoiler alert: It will be both of the above!
Whether it is Tom Needham’s brilliant section on teaching through examples, Sarah Cullen’s illuminating breakdown of Fading: removing teacher presence in directed teaching or the final section by John Blake; All children can be taught, you will finish this book feeling like you’ve just unlocked a secret, one that is only talked about by those in the know. A club you are now part of.
They have done it again. researchED have produced a book so good that it will change, not just the way you teach, but the way you think about the education system as a whole.
Frankly, I was dumbfounded after reading it. Just brilliant.
So yeah, it’s pretty good!
The lessons Direct Instruction teaches us should be learnt by teachers across the world. So what are you waiting for?
Get the damn book, directly!
Click here to get your copy now!