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The change to explicit instruction will affect 115,000 students and about 16,000 teachers and support staff (Supplied)

Catholic schools in Melbourne will overhaul how students learn reading, writing and maths, switching to explicit instruction over student-led or inquiry-based learning. Source: The Age.

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools yesterday launched a “Vision for Instruction” for its 300 schools, saying the evidence now supports explicit instruction as the best way of teaching children.

The move is a departure from the public system, which allows schools to choose their own teaching methods, despite many experts regarding some of those as outdated.

After a similar shift across dozens of Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT in 2019, the proportion of students underperforming in reading went from more than 40 per cent to just 4 per cent over three years.

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools executive director Edward Simons said years of declining results in the global Program for International Student Assessment meant approaches to teaching and learning needed to change.

Dr Simons said explicit instruction methods had “clearly shown us that our education systems can be much more effective at educating our children”.

Melbourne is so far the largest system to switch tack, with the move affecting 115,000 students and about 16,000 teachers and support staff.

Explicit instruction promotes direct teaching over student-led or inquiry-based learning, breaking down new concepts into smaller steps and modelling each step before progression. The method is underpinned by an evidence-based, scientific understanding of how students learn.

The practice has already been embraced by individual schools in all sectors, but the Melbourne Archdiocese will embed a system-wide approach, providing teachers with training and curriculum resources to ensure each school operates under the same framework.

The Melbourne Archdiocese follows the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese in adopting the practice.


The big change coming to the way Catholic school kids are taught (By Robyn Grace, The Age)