For an educator there are many instructional strategies and methods which one can choose to teach and train learners. It is up to the teacher to make an informed decision as to which strategies and methods would be best suited to their learners. The Saskatchewan Education (1991) instructional framework advocates that a teacher makes this decision based on the content to be delivered, the needs of the learners and the learning outcomes to be achieved. This paper will discuss one of the delivery methods within the direct instruction strategy of delivery. Direct instruction is one of the most common forms of delivering content for teachers; it is useful for providing information and step by step instruction (Saskatchewan Education, 1991). This paper will specifically look at the explicit teaching method of instruction, which is one of a number of direct instruction methods. This method will be discussed within the context of a WELL project delivering information technology training to older workers in an Aged Care workplace. Firstly this paper will analyse the different kinds of knowledge the explicit teaching method will develop and secondly it will relate this knowledge to the development of skills, expertise and near and far transfer. Finally this paper will argue an overall appraisal of the explicit teaching method. Explicit teaching method of instruction
The Saskatchewan Education Department in Canada (1991) has categorised instructional strategies into 5 groups; direct instruction, indirect instruction, experimental learning, independent study and interactive instruction. Within each of these categories specific methods of instruction are further categorised, with explicit teaching organised under the direct instruction umbrella. Explicit teaching can be defined as a systematic method of delivering skills facts and information (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2010). Explicit teaching involves step by step explanation, demonstration and practice of a skill (Explicit teaching, 2010). The content to be delivered is broken down into small steps with the teacher clearly demonstrating not just the skill but the cognitive processes behind the skill being instructed with ‘the teacher thinking out loud when working through problems and demonstrating processes for the learners’ (Explicit teaching, 2012, para. 3). Explicit teaching moves from the teacher holding all of the knowledge to the learner gaining the same knowledge through understanding and practice of the skill. Kinds of knowledge developed
The teacher using the explicit teaching method to train older workers in information technology would be aiming to develop Anderson’s three kinds of knowledge; that of declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge (Shuell, 1990), which are part of the cognitive learning theory (Krause, Bochner, Duchesne, & McMaugh, 2010). The development of these types of knowledge would be achieved by the learner acting upon the information they receive from the teacher’s explanation and modeling, making meaning of it through practical application and practice. Ryle (cited in Beven, 2012) defines declarative knowledge as ‘knowing that’; that is, knowledge of specific facts (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2010). For example when the teacher is explaining the location of the software required for the aged care worker to access on the computer, the teacher is giving specific information which the learner will store in their short term memory ready to recall when they commence the practice part of the learning activity. The teacher will further build on this declarative knowledge by demonstrating/modeling on the computer how to access the required software and log in. This declarative knowledge will produce conceptual understanding that will require procedural knowledge to be built upon it through hands on practice (Billet, 1996). This moving from propositional knowledge to procedural knowledge is called construction of knowledge (Krause et...
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