Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Debriefing and the Common Core

Research has demonstrated that learning is experienced more deeply and connections are made more broadly when someone debriefs an activity or lesson with youth.  A debrief gives you an opportunity to check on your objective and see if the youth can demonstrate an understanding of the objective.  A debrief gives young people an opportunity to share what they know and the questions they still may have.  In Common Core this is an essential aspect of learning.  Debriefing is a kind of metacognition which allows each person to consider what has just occurred and the thoughts he/she has about it.

Research tells us that when debriefing one of the most important things we can do is give the youth wait time and an opportunity to collect their thoughts so they can share with others in the group.  To be sure there are always those young people who quickly raise their hand in response to any question, but pausing before we call on them or anyone at all, gives all young people a chance to think and respond.  Youth learn language and communication skills by having lots of opportunities to practice.  So give them time to think, then have them put heads together to work out the kinks in the thinking, or have them take time to write about or draw the ideas they have.  Again, one of the essential aspects of Common Core implementation is the ability to think deeply and to explain what you were thinking when you took the action you did.

Consult 4 Kids has both written and video material around debriefing, including the importance of debriefing and strategies to implement.  Contact us at, check out the website,, and give us a call at (661)322-4347.  

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