Guided Instruction: How to Develop Confident and Successful Learners

Guided Instruction: How to Develop Confident and Successful Learners

Guided Instruction: How to Develop Confident and Successful Learners

Guided Instruction: How to Develop Confident and Successful Learners

Synopsis

Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey say that helping students develop immediate and lifelong learning skills is best achieved through guided instruction, which they define as saying or doing the just-right thing to get the learner to do "cognitive work" in other words, gradually and successfully transferring knowledge and the responsibility for learning to students through scaffolds for learning. In this helpful and informative book, they explain how guided instruction fits your classroom and works for your students.

Excerpt

As teachers, we are at our best when we guide learners to new or deeper understandings. We feel that sense of pride when the learner grasps a new concept, whether it’s breaking the code in learning to read or explaining how a calculus problem was solved. Regardless of the grade or subject we teach, our role as educators revolves around the idea that we guide learning.

We chose the word guide intentionally because it means to steer or direct a course. It’s showing the way for the learner, but not doing it. In popular educational terminology, it’s scaffolding. In essence, guided instruction is saying or doing the just-right thing to get the learner to do cognitive work.

We’ve all experienced this kind of instruction. Nancy remembers her statistics class in graduate school. Already threatened by the subject matter, she wasn’t sure that she could pass the class. Looking to the assigned text for the course was no help because it assumed extensive prior knowledge and was written in technical language. Thankfully, Nancy had a teacher who understood the need to transfer responsibility to the learners through intentional teacher moves. For example, during a discussion early in the semester that stands out in Nancy’s mind, the teacher started with a question to check for understanding:

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