Good explicit instruction follows a Gradual Release of Responsibility

This model consists of three components:
  1. Dependent Learning - Dependent learning is direct instruction that establishes purpose, models thinking, demonstrates skills, and teaches for metacognition.
  2. Shared Learning - Guided instruction and tasks that require joint intellectual effort, such as jigsaws, case studies, group projects, numbered heads together, etc.
  3. Independent Learning - Tasks that are meaningful, experiential, and relevant, which the student completes on his or her own.

This model suggests that the cognitive load should shift slowly and purposefully from teacher-as-model, to joint responsibility, to independent practice and application by the learner. It stipulates that the teacher moves from assuming all the responsibility for performing a task... to a situation in which the students assume all of the responsibility.

To learn more about the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model, review the following PowerPoint(s) & PDFs:

Gradual Release of Responsibility