Explore before Explain – 7 reasons why

Seven is my favourite number. I have no reason for that. Perhaps because it is a prime number? All the same, I have seven reasons why ‘explore before explain’ really works in teaching.

Here are seven good reasons why you should ‘explore before explain’ a try:

  1. It gives students an opportunity to share what they know
  2. It allows students to make connections to prior knowledge and actively wonder
  3. It supports the ‘Flipped learning’ model of delivery to allow for deeper questioning and engagement when face to face
  4. It promotes critical thinking, literacy and data literacy
  5. It is active and not passive – doing and trying over passive listening
  6. It allows for deeper conceptual understanding and knowledge
  7. It actively nurtures 21st Century learner-centred skills

So, seven reasons why you should try ‘explore before explain’.

What might happen if you allow students to explore content on their own before you impart your expert wisdom? Explore before explain is another way of stepping aside from the chalk and talk model to being a ‘guide on the side’ or, even better, a coach on call for learners who want to ask you their own unique, connected, new and engaging questions. It is a simple shift in practice that can nurture agency, critical thinking and connection.

How might such a simple process ignite and embed wondering, critical thinking, collaboration and engagement in your context?

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