Skills may be classified as those instructional actions that a teacher uses to enhance learning that are not, of themselves, complex or research-based, but serve to increase the chances that more complex instructional processes are successful. Let us consider some examples. Asking questions is a skill that teachers engage in constantly. Yet research indicates that many teachers do not frame questions effectively. As Bennett argues, by choosing a respondent from a group of students who raise their hands to answer a question, the teacher can only be sure that the student who responded knew the answer, and cannot be as sure about those who did not raise a hand. A more effective approach is to ask students to think about a question before discussing it with a partner. Such an approach involves every student, thus heightening accountability, while also enabling them to rehearse an answer, thus increasing safety. By choosing students randomly, having allowed them time to think, teachers can “check for understanding” (also a skill) more confidently. Other skills include allowing students appropriate wait-time as they formulate answers to questions, sharing the objective of lessons with class groups, and linking learning with students’ past experiences.
with thanks to The ETBI Instructional Leadership Programme