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Can teacher instructions be improved to enhance task completion by primary school children?

Boyle, C. and Lauchlan, Fraser (2010) Can teacher instructions be improved to enhance task completion by primary school children? Support for Learning, 25 (2). pp. 70-73. ISSN 0268-2141

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Abstract

This article considers the role of verbal and written instructions in influencing students' successful completion of a task. Two classes of children in a primary school were asked to complete a set of tasks from an instruction sheet. In addition, however, one of the classes was given a verbal instruction by the class teacher to read all of the instructions prior to attempting the task. The findings indicated that there was a significant difference between the two groups. The class that received the additional verbal instruction demonstrated a significant increase in the number of children who were able to complete the tasks correctly when compared to the written instruction only group. In conclusion, the research demonstrated that written instruction only by teachers can lead to a vastly reduced amount of accurate responses to a specified task.