The purpose of this Instructible is to educate teachers about the procedures of Direct Instruction and how it can be implemented in daily instruction to create more successful student outcomes.
Step 1: Introduction to Direct Instruction
Direct Instruction (DI) was originally developed by Siegfried Engelmann and Wesley C. Becker in the 1960s. Di is sytematic instruction that involves the use of a script. The lessons are repetetive allowing multiple opportunities to respond, feedback for incorrect responses as well as positive praise. DI is based on the idea that all students can learn, and all teachers can teach successfully if given the proper training and tools. Direct Instruction involves explicit explanations, sall learning steps, constantly reviewing information being taught, continuous teacher/student interactions, and choral responses. DI is based on the principle that if the children are not learning, the fault lies with the instruction. It focuses on one concept at a time and includes newly taught concepts into instruction that are familiar to the child. Engelmann (2007) believes materials should be simple and direct, and teachers should not "present creative excursions, just mainline, basic instruction" (p. 19).
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).