31 responses to “Explanations: Top Ten Teaching Tips”

  1. mary myatt says :

    Excellent post – as are all your others. Very thoughtful, I hope you are getting wide coverage for these.

    Mary Myatt

  2. Sue Cowley says :

    This is great, thank you, I really enjoyed reading it. A great analysis of how we can get information to ‘stick’. I think the idea of using metaphor is a really key one, where you can find some kind of extended metaphor to teach inside, this can really enhance the ‘stickability’. Thanks again.

  3. David Didau (@LearningSpy) says :

    Jolly useful summary – have linked to this in my post on Teacher Talk

    Thanks, Alex

  4. headguruteacher says :

    Hi Alex. This is great. Such a comprehensive post.. Thanks for referencing my effort http://headguruteacher.com/2013/02/13/great-lessons-6-explaining/ which happily also includes Prof Cox.. he is a master explainer.

    • huntingenglish says :

      Isn’t he just. I wrote mine, with videos, then went digging for what had influenced my post, so I could share, and realised you had already used Prof Cox! So much of his explanations model great practice – it is fascinating to watch him from a ‘teacher observer’ perspective.

  5. neilatkin63 says :

    Great post Alex, I mentor PGCE students and have passed this onto them, so thanks. I’m a physicist and am not a fan at all of Brian Cox’s explanations , maybe its Vygotsky’s ‘zone of proximal development’ (or maybe it’s that he is more popular than me)

    • huntingenglish says :

      Thanks Neil. You are probably experiencing ‘the curse of the expert’, whereat you recognise all the flaws in what he is saying, whereas I am blissfully ignorant and fall for his casual charm and straight forward explanations just for the likes of me!

  6. johnpearce1 says :

    Excellent paper. Thought provoking – requires second and more reading. Brilliantly referenced. Makes me feel an amateur and so, must read more about this craft I’ve been hobbying for 44 years… Mouly said, “it took hundreds of years to turn alchemy into chemistry, astrology into astronomy” I often add education is not yet a science – it’s writing, thinking like this paper that moves us forward. Thanks…

  7. Rebecca Stacey (@bekblayton) says :

    Excellent post, thank you so much for bringing all of this together! Will be sharing with staff at my schools!

  8. teachertweaks says :

    This is a great post Alex. Explanations are one of the first things I look out for when observing lessons. Often those teachers who are cited by students as being great teachers are those who have nailed how to explain things well.

    Recently, when trying to explain new ideas using subject-specific terminology, I have been including ‘open bracket’ definitions as part of my speech. So I might say: ‘The writer is manipulating us through his use of hyperbole – open bracket definition using language in an exaggerated way for effect – to try and encourage us to feel sympathy for him.’ The students seem to like these open-bracket definitions and I don’t have to stop the explanation mid-flow if I plan in advance which key words I know I will be introducing to students.

  9. paddingtonteachingandlearning says :

    Reblogged this on paddington teaching and learning and commented:
    Another brilliant post from Huntingenglish on an oft-neglected aspect of practice – how to explain stuff! Excellent advice for thinking about how we make our explanations clear, memorable and compelling.

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