@Ralph Folds It should be clarified that Direct Instruction does not …

Comment on Cape York lessons for Centre’s schools? by Clare Payne – Good to Great Schools Australia.

@Ralph Folds
It should be clarified that Direct Instruction does not have rote learning as a feature of its program. Zig Engelmann, the designer of Direct Instruction and Chairman of the National Institute for Direct Instruction, says that student acceleration within Direct Instruction places the focus on the teaching of generalisations, not rote learning. Generalisations represent efficiency, where as rote learning represents inefficiency.

For example, in the minutes the teacher may be able to teach students three rote items, they could instead be teaching a generalisation. The generalisation permits the students to respond to many items. The work on rote items, in contrast, produces performance on only the three items the teacher taught. Therefore the teaching of the generalisation is far more efficient than teaching of the rote items.

Direct Instruction in our Academy schools focuses on concept mastery, which means that learners are taught concepts at a measured pace, lessons are carefully grouped and sequenced and students are never introduced to material that is too far beyond their current competence. More complex concepts are gradually introduced, but only after students have demonstrated mastery of pre-requisite skills. Moreover, nothing is ever taught only once and concepts are covered repeatedly with new examples gradually introduced to expand students’ knowledge. In practice this means that in each lesson, the majority of material reinforces content that has already been introduced.

Direct Instruction is a rigorous approach to pedagogy and curriculum and has been shown – over almost fifty years and through may hundreds of studies – to deliver significant and sustained gains in student outcomes. It is one of the most effective forms of instruction for literacy and numeracy, for learners with diverse skills and from a range of backgrounds.

For more information please see the Good to Great Schools Australia website at: www.goodtogreatschools.org.au and the website of the National Institute for Direct Instruction: http://www.nifdi.org

– Good to Great Schools Australia, March 2014.

Be Sociable, Share!