Step 1: Introduction to Direct Instruction
DI was the main subject in "Project Follow Through" which is a federally funded research program. Project Follow Through began in 1967 with a goal of improving academic acheivement in low-performing students. It's purpose was to bridge the gap between low- and high-performing students. According to Engelmann (2007), "Our primary bias was simply that we believed the children were capable of learning if we were capable of figuring out time-efficient practices that would accelerate the rate at which they learn new material" (p.56). Research was conducted on over 20,000 students, using more than $1 billion in federal funds. To this day Project Follow Through is the largest and most expensive educational research-based program funded by the U.S federal government.
Project Follow Through contains three overarching models: Basic Skills (behavior reinforcement, Direct Instruction, and language development), Cognitive/Conceptual Models (parent education and self-directed literature), and Effective Skills Model (learning center, open education, and self-esteem).