Teacher's Guide to Direct Instruction


Introduction: Teacher's Guide to Direct Instruction

Direct Instruction includes the majority of elements of explicit instruction and is based on such principles as increasing on-task behaviors, high levels of success, and content coverage, it is distinguished from explicit instruction by its emphasis on curriculum design.  Direct Instruction had the largest impacts on tests of affective measures; most modes emphasize on affective development that have had average or negative impacts.
The largest general education study conducted in the US is known as "Project Follow-Through."  Project Follow-Through is the most responsive effort ever designed to find out what works well and how to serve at-risk children effectively.  At-risk students such as the students from Head Start programs that have a economically disadvantage were involved in Project Follow-Through too.  But, because budget cuts, the focus of this project changed to one of identifying effective approaches/programs for teaching this population of the students.  In total there was twelve programs that were examined.
The programs of Project Follow-Through were categorized as:
1.) basic skills model
2.) cognitive-conceptual model
3.) affective-cognitive model

Step 1: Basic Skills Model

This model emphasized directly teaching basic academic skills.

Step 2: Cognitive-Conceptual Model

This step includes intellectual skill development, learning to learn, problem solving, and other developmental approaches.

Step 3: Affective-Cognitive Model

This model emphasizes on self-esteem, problem solving, self-concept, and developing positive attitudes toward learning. 

Step 4: Steps Necessary to Implement Direct Instruction

Classroom Structure:
1. Design an efficient instructional sequence to avoid possible mis-teaching.
2. Create an appropriate learning environment with minimal distractions, in a quiet area of the classroom, and where students are facing the teacher directly.
3. Create learning groups based on learning performance.  Homogeneous groups ensure students are at the same skill level, learn at a similar rate, and help the teacher to guide the instruction to meet the needs of all the students in the group.
4. Divide groups up into appropriate instructional sequences where students are able to achieve mastery on current lessons by learning a small amount of material at a time.
5. Provide lots of opportunities for sufficient practice.

Teacher Implementation:
1. Teacher must follow the scripted format for each lesson.
2. Use appropriate pacing, being sure to keep the lesson moving while also allowing students time to process and develop the answer before signaling for responses.
3. Have a clear and consistent signal that the students are aware of your intentions and have clear expectations for a response.
4. Make sure students are firm on knowledge or a skill before then asking for individual responses.
5. Make sure to praise and acknowledge students for good performance during the lesson.
6. Give immediate feedback and effective correction techniques.

Step 5: Quotes and Examples:

Engelmann says in developing project Follow Through "we believed that children were capable of learning if we were capable of figuring out time-efficient practices that would accelerate the rate at which they learned new material" (Engelmann, 57).

"It is important to understand that Project Follow Through was conceived as a massive educational experiment using 'planned variation.'" (Engelmann, 31).

"When the testing was over, students in DI classrooms had placed first in reading, first in math, first in spelling and first in language. No other model came close" (Engelmann, 2).



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