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Members with steffiefee's books This information is loading. Individual differences are accommodated through different entry points, reinforcement, amounts of practice and correction strategies Gregory, There are a number of important characteristics of Direct Instruction programs Becker, It is assumed that all children can learn and be taught, thus failure to learn is viewed as failure to teach effectively Engelmann, Children whose progress is restricted must be taught to learn faster through a focus on features of teaching designed to improve efficiency of instruction.
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These features derive from the design of instruction, and from process variables such as how the curriculum is implemented. Curriculum is designed with the goal of "faultless instruction" Engelmann, , that is, sequences or routines for which there is only one logical interpretation. The designer's brief is to avoid ambiguity in instruction - the focus is on logical-analysis principles. These principles allow the organisation of concepts according to their structure and the communication of them to the learner through the presentation of positive and negative examples.
These generalisations may be taught inductively, by examples only, or deductively, by providing a rule and a range of examples to define the rule's boundaries. The essentials are determined by an analysis of the skills necessary to achieve the desired objective.
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There is an underlying assertion that, for reading, it is possible to achieve skilled reading by task analysis and the teaching of subskills within a cumulative framework. Advocates of a "Whole Language" perspective would disagree with the possibility or desirability of teaching in this manner. Direct Instruction designers consider errors counter-productive and time-wasting.
For remedial learners a high success rate is useful in building and maintaining motivation lost through a history of failure. Students continue to focus on a given task until that criterion is reached. The objective of this strategy is the achievement of retention without the requirement that all students complete the identical regimen. The practice schedule commences with massed practice, shifting to a spaced schedule. The amount of practice decreases as the relevant skill is incorporated into more complex skills.
Advocates of Direct Instruction argue that this feature of instruction is particularly important for low-achieving students and is too often allowed scant regard Engelmann, They're simple - but fundamental - things that make complex thinking possible" Rist, p. It is these principles of instructional design that sets Direct Instruction apart from traditional and modern behavioural approaches to teaching. However, the model does share a number of features with other behavioural approaches e. Rosenshine used the expression to describe a set of instructional variables relating teacher behaviour and classroom organisation to high levels of academic performance for primary school students.
High levels of achievement were related to the amount of content covered and mastered. Hence the pacing of a lesson can be controlled to enhance learning. Academic engaged time refers to the percentage of the allotted time for a subject during which students are actively engaged. The choral responding typical of DI programs is one way of ensuring high student engagement. The author once counted responses in the 10 minutes of teacher directed decoding activity in a Year 7 reading group Hempenstall, A strong focus on the academic was found to be characteristic of effective teachers.
Non-academic activities, while perhaps enjoyable or directed at other educational goals, were consistently negatively correlated with achievement.
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Yet, in Rosenshine's review of studies it was clear that an academic focus rather than an affective emphasis produced classrooms with high student self-esteem and a warm atmosphere. Less structured programs and teachers with an affective focus had students with lower self esteem. Teacher centred rather than student centred classrooms had higher achievement levels. Analogously, teachers who were strong leaders and did not base their teaching around student choice of activities were more successful.
The instructional procedure called demonstration-practice-feedback sometimes model-lead-test has strong research support Rosenshine, This deceptively simple strategy combines three elements of teaching strongly related to achievement in one general model. It comprises an invariant sequence in which a short demonstration of the skill or material is followed by guided practice during which feedback is provided to the student and further demonstration if necessary.
The second phase usually involves response to teacher questions about the material previously presented. It would appear that the overlearning this phase induces is particularly valuable. The third phase, that of independent practice, is evaluated by the teacher. Thus, the popularity among teachers of high cognitive level question implicit in discovery learning models is difficult to justify empirically. These high level questions require students to manipulate concepts without having been shown how to do so.
Research on discovery approaches has indicated a negative relationship with student achievement. Winnie's review of 19 experimental studies on higher order questions made this point very strongly, as does Yates To summarise the findings of research into teacher variables with a positive impact on student learning, Rosenshine and Berliner provide a definition for direct instruction, a concept providing part of the theoretical basis for Direct Instruction. Direct instruction pertains to a set of teaching behaviours focused on academic matters where goals are clear to students; time allocated for instruction is sufficient and continuous; content coverage is extensive; student performance is monitored; questions are at a low cognitive level and produce many correct responses; and feedback to students is immediate and academically oriented.
In direct instruction, the teacher controls the instructional goals, chooses material appropriate for the student's ability level, and paces the instructional episode p. Direct Instruction has developed into a comprehensive system of instruction covering many skill areas: reading, mathematics, language, spelling, microcomputing, writing, reasoning, and a variety of other school subjects including chemistry, critical reading, social studies, and history. A very large national evaluation of different approaches to teaching basic skills was entitled Operation Follow Through.
This evaluation showed that the Direct Instruction approach was particularly effective. Additional to the Follow Through data, there were numerous evaluations of Direct Instruction programs from the early days, but as with much educational research, relatively few studies met the criteria for acceptability that are demanded today. Fabre compiled an annotated bibliography of almost studies completed prior to For the most part, research findings were impressive, given the caveat of limited research design quality. Notable positive reviews of outcome research were provided by Gersten, ; Gregory, ; Kinder and Carnine, ; Lockery and Maggs, ; White, See later for contrary views.
Whereas, Direct Instruction was originally designed to assist disadvantaged students, its emphasis on task characteristics and effective teaching principles transcends learner characteristics, offering value across a range of learners. Lockery and Maggs reviewed research indicating success with average children, those with mild, moderate or severe skill deficits, those in resource rooms, withdrawal classes and special classes in regular schools, disadvantaged students including indigenous and those whose first language is not English , students in special facilities with varying degrees of intellectual disability, and physical disabilities.
Gersten in his review of studies involving students with a range of disabilities concluded that Direct Instruction tended to produce higher academic gains than traditional approaches. Gersten referred to the Leinhardt, Zigmond, and Cooley study with learning disabled students.
see The authors noted that three teaching behaviours were strongly associated with student progress in reading - the use of reinforcers, academic focus, and a teacher instruction variable involving demonstration, practice and feedback. Each of these is critical to the definition of direct instruction Rosenshine, and supports the assertion that there are teacher behaviours that transcend student characteristics. This study was the first to demonstrate that specific direct instruction principles have value for learning disabled students. White's meta-analysis of studies involving learning disabled, intellectually disabled, and reading disabled students restricted its focus to those studies employing equivalent experimental and comparison groups.
White reported an effect size of 0. This is markedly above the 0. White concluded that " Further support for the explicit approach came from Kavale His summary of research into direct instruction and effective teaching concludes that they are five to ten times more effective for learning disabled students than are practices aimed at altering unobservable learning processes such as perception.
Binder and Watkins described Direct Instruction along with Precision Teaching as the approaches best supported by research to address the problems of teaching found in the English-speaking world. So, evaluations of DI extend back in time. One of the common criticisms is that Direct Instruction works with very low-level or specific skills, and with lower ability and the youngest students. These are not the findings from the meta-analyses. The messages of these meta-analyses on Direction Instruction underline the power of stating the learning intentions and success criteria, and then engaging students in moving towards these.
Summarised from Hattie, , p. Despite the long history of empirical support for Direct Instruction, unsurprisingly there have also been criticisms. Surely, no other approach has so polarised educators as has DI. The criticisms have been based on a number of different grounds.
Some are fanciful, some shallow, some purely emotional, and many result from ideologically based beliefs regarding learning.