Empowering Youth of Promise through Education for 20 years
Empowering Youth of Promise through Education for 20 years

It is with sadness that we report that Legacy of Learning is closed.

Direct Instruction Teaching Method Design and Organization

Direct InstructionDirect Instruction (DI) is an explicit, intensive instructional method that allows students of all abilities to become confident, capable learners. For nearly 50 years, Direct Instruction has empowered teachers to deliver consistently high levels of instruction which results in exemplary student achievement.

Using this research-proven, multi-sensory teaching method that is fast-paced and highly interactive, our students achieve rapid academic progress. Experience has shown us that all students can learn regardless of challenging and diverse educational histories, behavioral patterns, or learning differences.The efficacy of DI’s highly structured and explicit instructional methods has been verified by over 3,000 studies worldwide. Project Follow Through, the largest controlled comparative study of teaching methods in human history, studied 79,000 students in 180 communities over the course of ten years. When the results were analyzed by researchers at the Stanford Research Institute, Direct Instruction, out of twenty-two contemporary teaching methods, placed first academically, affectively and cognitively in reading, math, spelling, and language-”no other model came close.” The systematic nature of our DI programs, combined with supportive attention from our instructors, has proved to be a powerful tool to accelerate learning for diverse types of learners in a variety of settings.“Your mission is to accelerate those kids as much as possible. I have high expectations because I know it’s possible; it’s achievable. When you work with low-performing kids, you turn them around. You make a big difference in their life. And you help them realize their potential.”

-Siegfried“Zig”Engelmann, Senior Author Direct Instruction Programs


What Is Direct Instruction?

SRA/McGraw-Hill’s Direct Instruction programs use common instructional planning to boost student skill mastery in  reading, spelling, language arts, and mathematics.  The programs provide concrete, clear curricula that have been highly successful in a wide variety of instructional settings nationwide.

The system’s highly interactive, research-proven methods help students from diverse backgrounds acquire the skills needed for academic success.

Features of DI include:*

  • Explicit, systematic instruction based on scripted lesson plans.
  • Students are placed into DI programs based on their initial test results and may quickly advance through the program.
  • Emphasis on pace and efficiency of instruction. DI programs are meant to accelerate student progress; therefore, lessons are designed to bring students to mastery as quickly as possible.
  • Frequent assessment. Curriculum-based assessments help place students by their ability and may identify additional intervention.
  • Embedded professional development/coaching.  The program developers recommend careful monitoring and coaching of the program in order to ensure a high fidelity of implementation.

Direct Instruction goes far beyond memorization to:

  • Emphasize priority concepts critical for student success
  • Move from basic skills to integrated, sophisticated skills
  • Develop learning strategies and their application in new situations
  • Help make a measurable difference in classroom achievement
  • Create successful, confident learners!

*(Basic Philosophy. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://nifdi.org/what-is-di/basic-philosophy)

How does DI ensure students’ success?*

There are four key aspects of the DI method that ensure students learn faster and more efficiently than any other comparable educational philosophy:

  1. Students are placed in instruction at their skill level.
    When beginning the program, each student is tested to find out which skills they have already mastered and which areas need the most improvement. Based on this baseline test, students are placed in the level of the program that is appropriate for their specific skillset
  2. The program’s structure is designed to ensure mastery of the content. 

    The program is organized so that skills are introduced in small steps, deliberately giving each student a chance to learn a specific skillset and apply it before being required to learn another new skill. Approximately 10% of each lesson is new material; 90% of each lesson’s content is dedicated to review and reinforcement of skills students have already learned but need to fully master. Skills and concepts are taught in isolation and then integrated with other skills into more sophisticated, higher-level applications. In this way, the student is granted plenty of time to fully grasp a concept before moving on to the next concept.
  3. Instruction is modified to accommodate each student’s rate of learning.
    A key tenet of Direct Instruction is that students are retaught or accelerated at a pace dictated by the rate at which they learn. If a student needs more practice with a specific skill, teachers can provide the additional instruction within the program to ensure students master the skill. On the other hand, if a student is easily acquiring the new skills and needs to advance to the next level, he/she will be moved ahead so that they may continue adding to the skills they already possess.
  4. Programs are field tested and revised before publication. 

    DI programs are very unique in the way they are written and revised before publication. All DI programs are tested on real students, then scrutinized and revised based on those tests, before they are ever published. This means that the program your student is receiving has already been proven to work with similar students.

All in all, when implemented correctly, DI will prove true its core belief: all students, if properly taught, can learn.

*(Basic Philosophy. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://nifdi.org/what-is-di/basic-philosophy)

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