Direct instruction is a method that is specifically designed to enhance academic learning time. Direct instruction does not assume that students will develop insights on their own. Instead, direct instruction takes learners through the steps of learning systematically, helping them see both the purpose and the result of each step. When teachers explain exactly what students are expected to learn, and demonstrate the steps needed to accomplish a particular academic task, students are likely to use their time more effectively and to learn more.
The basic components of direct instruction are:
Not all topics are amenable to direct instruction. Indeed, even within a single grade level or subject area it is possible that some learners will profit from direct instruction, while others will profit from a less direct approach to instruction (Cole et al, 1993).
An excellent discussion of direct instruction can be found in Rosenshine (1986).
Direct instruction is an example of one way to use academic learning time effectively. Direct instruction is not a synonym for good teaching. To avoid misapplications of direct instruction, it is essential to look at the rationale behind it.
In other instances, however, different, less direct strategies may more effectively promote active participation.
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