Direct Instruction is a systematic, skills-oriented teaching methodology. Direct instruction is often characterized by carefully scripted lesson plans which break skills down into small units, with each individual unit as part of a logical sequence of lessons, and taught explicitly to students. Other characteristics include, ability grouping, emphasis on pacing and efficiency of instruction, frequent assessment, and embedded professional development/coaching. The direct instruction methodology was developed by Siegfried Englemann and Wesley C. Becker of the University of Oregon. Their research was funded by the largest federally funded research program in education called Project Follow Through. The results gleaned from PFT and the vast majority of subsequent research gave strong empirical support of the effectiveness of DI in classrooms and with a wide range of students.
Step 1: Orientation (Anticipatory Set)
Englemann describes using basic instruction to teach lessons by keeping materials simple and direct.
Step 2: Presentation (Teacher Modeling)
Teacher explains/demonstrates new concepts or skill. - By demonstrating a new concept, students know what is expected of them and the procedures to accomplishing the skill or concept. Englemann recommends explaining a new concept or skill by providing “overkill in the scripted sequence” (p.19).
Teacher provides visual representation of the task.-
Teacher checks for understanding.- Group responses are recommended by Englemann. Englemann further states “tasks must be designed so that all children will be able to produce the same response, saying the same words” (p.20).
Step 3: Structured Practice (Guided Practice)
Teacher leads group through practice examples in lock step.
Students respond to questions.
Teacher provides corrective feedback for errors and reinforces correct practice.- “Practice on corrections for basic skills and on corrections for related skills. (p.86)
Step 4: Closure
Step 5: Independent Practice
Students practice independently in a small group in class. Englemann recommends grouping students homogenously
Feedback is delayed.
Independent practices occur several times over an extended period.