Leading Teacher Clarity

Leading Teacher Clarity

Teacher Clarity in Action (session description still in progress)

In Visible Learning, (2009) John Hattie refers to Fendick’s (1990) study when describing teacher clarity: an organizational and instructional strategy focused on creating explicit learning intentions and success criteria. In other words, it is stating something clearly rather than providing unclear or implicit directions. The difference between these two variables, implicit and explicit, is quite significant. With a notable effect size, teacher clarity has the potential to dramatically increase student achievement.

This session will concentrate on those key components that promote teacher clarity, including specific opportunities for guided and independent practice. Participants will learn how to create foundational knowledge on how to incorporate a clarity framework into their schools and districts.

Fendick (1990) described teacher clarity as “a measure of the clarity of communication between teachers and students in both directions.” He identified four dimensions of clarity: clarity of organization, clarity of explanation, clarity of guided practice, and clarity of assessment of student learning and described each dimension:

  • Clarity of organization occurs when instructional topics, assignments, and objectives are aligned to learning
  • Clarity of explanation occurs when the content and directions are made understandable 
  • Clarity of examples and guided practice happens when there is time for practice, clear explanation and feedback, and gradual release of instructional support 
  • Clarity of assessment of student learning occurs when teachers are regularly seeking and receiving feedback from students through verbal and written work 

To achieve the type of clarity that Fendick (1990) describes, it’s necessary to take a closer look at the concept and how it applies to classroom practice. While clarity occurs during the teaching and learning cycle in the classroom, it is the result of explicit planning that took place prior to the instruction.