The Harvard Business Review just published a piece on “self-explanation” and described it this way:

The approach revolves around asking oneself explanatory questions like, ”What does this mean? Why does it matter?” It really helps to ask them out loud. One study shows that people who explain ideas to themselves learn almost three times more than those who don’t.

I’ve previously shared resources around this concept and thought it would be useful to bring them all together in a short “Best” list (you might also be interested in Best Posts On Metacognition):

Talking to Yourself (Out Loud) Can Help You Learn is from Harvard Business Review.

Should Students Explain Their Thinking? Not Always, Research Saysis from Ed Week. It’s a helpful study, though I think it uses a “straw man.” It basically says that student self-explanation is effective as long as they’re giving a correct one. It’s difficult for me to believe that many teachers don’t use guidance to ensure that this is the case. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen researchers use straw men to prove their point.

The “Best Learning Techniques” Are Useless If Students Won’t Do Them — A Critical Take On A Well Done Study

“What I Cannot Create, I Do Not Understand”

Self-Explanation as a Study Strategy for Math is from The Learning Scientists.

Self-Explanation: A Good Reading Strategy for Bad Texts (& Good) is from Thinker Academy.

Self-Explanation and Metacognition: The Dynamics of Reading

The Importance Of Explaining “Why”


Inducing Self-Explanation: a Meta-Analysis is a new study that is, unfortunately, behind a paywall.