What is Direct Instruction?

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What is Direct Instruction?
Direct instruction is a method of teaching that involves clear and definite instructions and/or demonstrations given to students to improve the learning process. With direct instruction, each single step of a particular topic or concern is explained to the students. Rather than letting the students experiment things on their own or ask questions only when needed, this particular teaching method emphasizes on detailed lectures and action plans which are laid out for the students to better understand a particular subject or topic.

From the start of the learning process, the goal and purpose of each step in the process in explained and discussed with the students. It is believed that students will respond better and learn more effectively if they are guided with clear instructions each step of the way. In most cases, Direct Instruction is compared with other methods of teaching like student participation, active learning, internships, seminars, recitation, and workshops among others.

The concept of Direct Instruction is attributed to Siegfried Engelmann and it was in 1964 when he first formulated the theories regarding this type of teaching and/or learning method. Based on Engelmann’s research and theories, the method of Direct Instruction has five basic components. The first component involves the setting of goals in which the teacher must make sure that the students understand the goal or purpose at the start of the learning process. Proper organization of assignments is another important component of Direct Instruction. The third component involves clear and concise illustrations and explanations regarding the subject involved. Frequent questioning is also employed to test if the students indeed are able to follow the process. This makes up the fourth component. The last component involves giving the students multiple chances to apply what they have learned. In this way, the skills and knowledge they acquired from the start of the learning process will be put to use.

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