In How to Explain Absolutely Anything to Absolutely Anyone Andy Tharby talks teachers through a set of remarkably simple techniques that will help revolutionise the precision and clarity of their message.
In recent years teacher talk has acquired a bad name – it’s too dull, it’s too lifeless, it’s too controlling. Teachers, as a result, have been advised to take a back seat and let children learn for themselves. This has been a mistake: teacher talk has always been, and always will be, absolutely crucial to learning. Teachers should aim to improve their explanations, not discard them outright. Good teaching is not about talking more or less, but about talking better.
Writing in his typically engaging and eloquent style, Andy examines the art and science of the undervalued skill of teacher explanation. By bringing together evidence and ideas from a wide range of sources – including cognitive science, educational research and the study of linguistics – Andy shows teachers how to explain tricky and thorny concepts so well that their pupils will not only understand them perfectly, but remember them forever too. He also puts the important role of learner autonomy in context, recognising that there is a time for teachers to talk and a time for pupils to lead their own learning, and argues that, in most cases, teachers should first lay out the premise before opening the space for interrogation.
Brimming with sensible advice applicable to a range of settings and subjects, this book is suitable for teachers and educators of children aged 7–16.