Invented nearly 50 years ago, information pills Direct Instruction (DI) is a scripted, ed step-by-step approach to teaching that is among the most thoroughly tested and proven in the history of education. It works equally well for general education, website gifted students, and the disabled, but surprisingly remains lttle used.
DI was the clear winner in the federal government’s 10-year Follow Through project—the largest study in history to compare different approaches to instruction. In the 40 years since Follow Through, DI has repeatedly been shown to be effective with all kinds of students—from at-risk and struggling preschoolers to top performers in middle school. Yet, despite its demonstrated effectiveness and an acute need for improved schooling outcomes—over two-thirds of all fourth graders are not proficient in reading—most teachers know lttle about it.
Students love Direct Instruction. They become engaged and excited, not passive and bored. Teachers who become proficient in DI prefer it because of the great results they get with students. Just an hour of DI instruction per day is typically enough to significantly improve student performance.
DI works so well that its author— Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann —has a standing offer to wager $100,000 on a contest between DI and any other type of reading instruction. In forty years, no one has accepted his challenge.
Why isn’t DI more popular?
Author: Shepard Barbash
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