Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) came up recently in a discussion with one of my student teachers. The topic came up during brainstorming ways to meet the Distinguished criteria on the Teacher Evaluation tool. The GRR model of instruction suggests that learning should gradually shift from solely teacher modeling, to joint responsibility between teachers and students, to independent practice and application by the students.
I was introduced to Gradual Release of Responsibility during a Professional Development opportunity in our school. The consultant demonstrated an activity in our classroom, co-taught with us the next day and then observed us use the strategy. Each session ended with self-reflection. This method is successful both in classrooms and in Teacher Professional Development. Simply: “I do, we do, you do it alone.”
Gradual Release of Responsibility Principles:
- Mistakes are part of the learning process; the more practice, the fewer mistakes.
- Background knowledge and skills sets differ student by student which means that preparedness for learning also differs.
- Many students learn best through hands-on learning as opposed to watching or listening to others.
Although the GRR instructional model was first used in reading comprehension, it is now used in all content areas. The model helps move classroom instruction from lecture and whole group instruction to a more student-centered classroom that uses collaboration and independent practice.