|Effective Educational Practices (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 2000, 24 p.)|
Direct teaching is most effective when it exhibits key features and follows systematic steps.
Many studies show that direct teaching can be effective in promoting student learning. The process emphasizes systematic sequencing of lessons, a presentation of new content and skills, guided student practice, the use of feedback and independent practice by students. The traits of teachers employing effective direct instruction include clarity, task orientation, enthusiasm and flexibility. Effective direct teachers also clearly organize their presentations and occasionally use student ideas.
In the classroom
The use of direct teaching can be traced to the turn of the last century; it is what many citizens and parents expect to see in classrooms. Done well, it can yield consistent and substantial results. Whole-class teaching of diverse groups may mean that lessons are too advanced for slower students and too repetitive for the quick. In the last decade or two, moreover, theorists have tried to transfer more control of lesson planning and completion to students themselves so that they 'learn to learn', as several subsequent practices exemplify.
Six phased functions of direct teaching work well:
1. Daily review, homework check and, if necessary, reteaching;
2. Presentation of new content and skills in small steps;
3. Guided student practice with close teacher monitoring;
4. Corrective feedback and instructional reinforcement;
5. Independent practice in work at the desk and in homework with a high (more than 90%) success rate; and
6. Weekly and monthly reviews.
References: Brophy & Good, 1986; Gage & Needles, 1989; Walberg & Haertel, 1997; Wang, Haertel & Walberg, 1993a, 1993b; Waxman & Walberg, 1999.