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Research drives what we do

To ensure the highest quality of materials are delivered to you, we are very deliberate about how we include the latest educational research in every lesson, unit, resource or other material we publish.



Our team has completed in depth studies of the works of John Hattie, Fisher and Frey, The Science of Reading, The Road to Participation and many more bodies of real life experiments on how students best learn.

They have combined this with their own individual 10-20 years + of personal classroom experiences across many contexts to ensure you are supported with the best classroom practices, while autonomously adapting to the needs of your students. This process ensures that the combination of Cleverbean materials and your expertise keeps students engaged, hitting educational outcomes and developing a deep love of learning.

Gradual Release of Responsibility

What is it?

The Gradual Release model or scaffolded instruction, is broadly recognised as a successful approach for moving classroom instruction from teacher-centered, whole group delivery to student-centered collaboration and independent practice. It is often referred to as the “I do, we do, you do” mode of delivery, which proposes a plan of instruction that includes demonstration, prompt, and practice effectively.

Research tells us that the Gradual Release of Responsibility model of instruction is an effective approach for improving literacy achievement (Fisher & Frey, 2007), reading comprehension (Lloyd, 2004), and literacy outcomes for English language learners (Kong & Pearson, 2003).

How we use it

We use this model to structure all of our lesson content to deliver explicit instruction to students as well as move them towards greater independence in their learning.

By delivering our lessons in this way we work towards building effective teachers, as well as ensuring content is delivered explicitly to set all learners up for independent success.

Science of Reading

What is it?

The Science of Reading is a comprehensive field of study that seeks to deepen our understanding of how children acquire literacy skills, navigate the challenges inherent in the learning process, and developing teaching strategies to overcome them. Drawing on a vast body of knowledge generated through empirical research spanning over five decades, this field encompasses a range of disciplines, including cognitive psychology, linguistics, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and education.

With the advent of new technologies, researchers have gained insights into the workings of the brain during the process of learning to read and comprehend written information. This research has revealed that while humans possess an innate capacity for spoken language, the ability to read is a learned skill that must be explicitly taught. Specifically, effective instruction involves developing the neural pathways necessary for fluent reading through targeted instruction in print concepts, speech sounds, language, and word meaning. By connecting these key components of reading, educators can facilitate the development of effective practice in teaching and accessing for improving students outcomes in literacy.

How we use it

Using this body of research and Scarborough’s Reading Rope (2001), Cleverbean has carefully crafted lessons and materials that target two core areas of reading instruction: word recognition and comprehension. To develop word recognition skills, phonological awareness lessons provide a systematic and sequential approach to teaching phonics. This ensures that students are explicitly taught the relationships between letters and sounds, starting with basic phonetic concepts (eg. single letters grapheme) and progressing to more complex ones (eg. digraphs, trigraphs, silent letters). For early learners, these lessons use picture books to introduce different sounds and recommend literacy activities to support the introduction of letters including tactile, craft and play based learning activities.

To develop comprehension aspects of reading, lessons enhance students' understanding of vocabulary, build background knowledge, and grasp the language structure of texts, both literally and figuratively. Lessons are structured to explicitly teach these skills and provides ample practice time for students to master them. Furthermore, the lessons incorporate a range of quality mentor texts, including imaginative, persuasive, informative, and poetry, to further enrich students' reading experience and understanding of print concepts. These activities you find on Cleverbean are designed to make learning highly effective, fun and engaging, helping young children develop a love of reading

Formative Assessment

What is it?

Formative assessment is the process of students and teachers working together to improve student learning outcomes. It is a holistic approach to learning and assessment. Formative assessment supports students' agency over their own learning outcomes, giving them the tools to monitor progress and understand next steps in learning goals and achievements. It doesn't include a formal test or quiz but rather an ongoing process of assessment to better understand individual student needs and how to move their learning forward.

Research by education specialist Professor John Hattie (2012) from the University of Melbourne, has found that ongoing feedback is critical to developing students’ academic learning outcomes and success. Hattie shows that asking students ‘Where am I going, how am I going and where to next’, is critical for future development.

How we use it

At Cleverbean we are big believers in the evidence that supports formative assessment. To strengthen individual learning.

All of our lessons have formative assessment prompts embedded in them, directly linked to a learning intention and success criteria to ensure teachers are able to embed these tools into every lesson.

Visible Learning

What is it?

Visible learning is an approach which explicitly highlights what students will be learning in each lesson. It is based on the outcomes of research by John Hattie who worked with students worldwide to understand and identify the best instructional practices that have an impact on individual learning goals and success in the classroom (see Hattie 2012).

Hattie’s work shows that students who understand the learning task and the goal of the lesson are more likely to achieve learning outcomes, working towards rather than just doing.

How we use it

Cleverbean’s lessons have clear learning intentions and success criteria that all map back to the Australian Curriculum to help students make sense of what they will be doing in the classroom.

Following Hattie (2012), we believe that creating clear learning intentions and success criteria is instrumental to actively involving students in their own learning. Our aim is to ensure students have a clear understanding of what they are learning about (learning intention) as well as able to articulate how they can make steps to be successful (success criteria).


What is it?

“Teachers are most likely to be most effective when they have students work with the same essential understandings but at varied levels of complexity and with different scaffolding based on the students’ current points of development.” Carol Ann Tomlinson (2013, pp. 6)

Differentiated teaching occurs when a teacher adjusts content to ensure all students can access the curriculum and be successful in their learning. Classrooms have a wealth of different abilities, age groups and behaviours that need to be catered to in various ways. By tailoring content, teachers can help to ensure every child has the ability to shine no matter what the task is.

How we use it

At Cleverbean, we are big believers in creating rich tasks that can be easily differentiated to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to access the curriculum and achieve academic success.

Our lessons encourage and facilitate teachers to embed collaborative tasks, open ended activities, critical and creative thinking and flexible learning spaces. Cleverbean lessons have a suggested way to vary lessons for students needing more support as well as students who need an extra challenge.

This doesn't mean a completely different task or new activity, rather a change to cater for different phases of learning


  • Castles, A., Rastle, K., & Nation, K. (2018). Ending the reading wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expert. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19, 5-51.
  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (2014). What works best: Evidence-based practices to help improve NSW student performance. (Research Report).
  • Centre for Independent Studies. (2016). Read about it: Scientific evidence for effective teaching of reading. (Research Report). Report prepared by K Hempenstall.
  • Christie, F. (2005). Language education in the primary years. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.
  • Defining Movement. 2021. The Science of Reading: A Defining Guide. February 21. Available at (accessed 27 Dec 2022).
  • Duke, N.K., Pearson, P.D., Strachan, S.L. & Billman, A.K. (2011). Essential elements of fostering and teaching reading comprehension. In S.J. Samuels & A.E. Farstrup (Eds.). What research has to say about reading instruction. (4th ed.). (pp. 51-93). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
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  • Fisher, D. and N. Frey, “Implementing a Schoolwide Literacy Framework: Improving Achievement in an Urban Elementary School,” The Reading Teacher, 61, 2007, pp. 32-45.
  • Fisher, D. and N. Frey, Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Virginia, 2008.
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  • Keene, E. O., & Zimmermann, S. (2007). Mosaic of thought: The power of comprehension strategy instruction: Second edition. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Kong, A. and P. D. Pearson, “The Road to Participation: The Construction of a Literacy Practice in a Learning Community of Linguistically Diverse Learners,” Research in the Teaching of English, 38, 2003, pp. 85- 124.
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  • Scarborough, H. S. (2001). Connecting early language and literacy to later reading (dis)abilities: Evidence, theory, and practice. In S. B. Neuman & D. K. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of Early Literacy Research (Vol. 1, pp. 97-110). Guilford Press.
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