|Above copied from K to 12 Toolkit|
Jean Stockard and coworkers have published a meta-analysis of fifty years worth of research on Direct Instruction. The results are crystal clear. From over 300 studies, substantial positive results are obtained for a style of teaching called Direct Instruction. The method is found to be effective across races, genders, socio-economic status, and subjects. Its effects are long-lasting and are even more pronounced if the method starts as early as kindergarten. The advantage it provides is very significant that it can stand to wipe out current achievement gaps based on race and income. This blog in the past has highlighted Direct Instruction on numerous occasions. In one post, four years ago, "Best Evidence Encyclopedia": Proven Programs in Basic Education, the three most successful programs in the United States are mentioned. These are "Direct Instruction", "School Development Program", and "Success for All". Among the three, only "Direct Instruction" corresponds specifically to a curriculum. "School Development Program" treats the school as a professional learning community while "Success for All" emphasizes equity in education.
I use "Direct Instrution" in my profession. It will be impossible otherwise to cover the topics in General Chemistry in a year without "Direct Instruction". It is indeed mind-boggling why people would choose "learning styles" and other unproven methods of teaching. I guess the reason is partly the misconceptions some of us have regarding "Direct Instruction". So, perhaps, it is useful to remind ourselves again of the myths. The following is a repost of "Best Evidence Encyclopedia": Proven Programs in Basic Education:
|Table copied from http://www.bestevidence.org/csr/k12_meta_borman/top.htm|
"Direct Instruction (DI) is a model for teaching that emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teaching tasks. It is based on the theory that clear instruction eliminating misinterpretations can greatly improve and accelerate learning."
- DI programs are rigid and unenlightened because they treat all instructional tasks as if they have right and wrong answers. In math, science, reading and writing, there are, of course right and wrong answers. Denying this fact is a complete misconception of what education really is.
- DI is wrong because it is based on a hierarchy of skills. Is it really possible for a child to do algebra before learning how to add?
- DI does not recognize developmental progression and developmental theory. This is true because DI works on the premise that all children can be taught and all children can learn. Developmental theory simply describes how a child progresses. Nowhere in the theory is a prescription that education must be delayed to accommodate low performers. This delay will simply exacerbate the problem. One must recognize where a student is and start at that level. This does not mean, however, that one must dilute what needs to be taught simply because a child is starting with a weak background.
- DI stifles creativity. Creativity in teaching manifests in a teacher's ability to follow and grow with the students. Creativity from students cannot come from a vacuum. Creativity requires mastery of basic concepts. Creativity can only spring from a strong foundation. Thus, DI promotes creativity.
- DI programs are only for weak students. DI has made high performers out of weak students so it must be equally effective for quick learners as well.
- DI promotes passive learning. DI promotes mastery. How could mastery be passive?
- DI ignores individual differences. DI has provisions (as any good teacher does) to accommodate students of varying skills and abilities.
|Figure captured from http://www.education-consumers.org/DI_Research.pdf|