The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction
Publication Type:Web Article
Year of Publication:2007
Linda Kelly, a Virginia teacher of family and consumer sciences, reviews this book that seeks to balance teaching research research with individual student needs. The book poses ten instructional-design questions such as “What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?”
Citation: Marzano, R.J. (2007). The art and science of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective instruction. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Robert J. Marzano
2007 (220 pp./paperback)
$26.95 ($20.95 to members)
Reviewed by Linda Kelly
Family and Consumer Science
Marion Senior High School
Smyth County, VA
In the introduction to The Art and Science of Learning,
Robert Marzano states that although the findings from research can
provide guidance for teaching, he does not believe that there will ever
be a formula for teaching. He cites research to establish that the
single most influential component of an effective school is the
individual teachers within that school, who select the strategies they
believe will be the most useful with their students at a particular
time. Marzano calls this “the art of teaching.” Although research can
identify the instructional strategies that have a good chance of
working with particular students, the individual teacher must exercise
judgment in selecting and applying the techniques. Teaching, therefore,
is a merger of science and art.
Marzano briefly discusses books he has written (including his widely read “What
Works” series on classroom instruction and management) and notes that
this new work integrates earlier findings to produce “a model for
ensuring quality teaching that balances the necessity of research-based
data with the equally vital need to understand the strengths and
weaknesses of individual students.”
Marzano identifies three components of effective classroom pedagogy:
• Use of Effective Instructional Strategies
• Use of Effective Management Strategies
• Use of Effective Classroom Curriculum Design Strategies
Using these as a starting point, he articulates 10 instructional design
questions which form the title and foundation of each of the 10
chapters in the book. They are worth reproducing here, as they offer a
good synopsis of the book's focus:
1. What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress and celebrate success?
2. What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge?
3. What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge?
4. What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?
5. What will I do to engage students?
6. What will I do to establish or maintain classroom rules and procedures?
7. What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence and lack of adherence to classroom rules and procedures?
8. What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students?
9. What will I do to communicate high expectations for all students?
10. What will I do to develop effective lessons organized into a cohesive unit?
Chapter 1 introduces the reader to Mr. Hutchins and his unit on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. The reader follows the progress of the unit throughout the
book as Mr. Hutchins’ lessons provide examples of how he applied the
answer to each chapter’s question in teaching this unit. By the end of
the book, the reader has watched an entire unit unfold as each question
is answered in the context of various strategies Mr. Hutchins
incorporates into his teaching.
In each chapter, Marzano includes research and theory followed by action
steps that provide the ways a teacher may answer the chapter’s question
in individual teaching situations. The book is packed with an arsenal
of strategies. Many are familiar, but there are enough included
throughout the book to excite even the most veteran teachers.
For me, reading the book was refreshing and captivating. I was reminded of
techniques that I knew about but was not currently using in my
teaching, and there were enough new ideas to provide a springboard into
fresh thoughts and approaches. Armed with these, any teacher can become
I recommend The Art and Science of Teachingas a book that all teachers, beginning as well as experienced, should
have in their reference library. I encourage them to refer to the book