Friday, November 02, 2012

Zig Engelmann recommends

I wrote to Zig Engelmann earlier this year after my observations of Direct Instruction at Djarragun College.

The Direct Instruction teacher manuals are fairly expensive (details here if you click through) and I was hoping that Zig would put some free samples on line so that the true extent of the scripting in DI would be readily available to anyone interested in checking it out. I had learnt at Djarragun that the teacher's instructions manuals (the script) played an absolutely central role in the whole process.

Here is an extract from Zig's reply. Although he didn't agree to my idea of publishing a sample on line he did point me towards 2 articles and a video that explain the principles of Direct Instruction in some detail. These are good links for those who want to understand the theory and practice of DI:
It’s true that teachers and administrators don’t understand the details of the program and the basis for much of what we do in designing programs. Zigsite has several works that go into detail, provide examples of the wrong way and right way, and explain the process that we follow in developing programs. The most detailed work is Rubric for Identifying Authentic Direct Instruction Programs. A shorter paper focuses on the key notion of presenting examples that lead to one and only one generalization: “The Curriculum Is the Cause of Failure.”

I wouldn’t recommend the book Theory of Instruction by Carnine and me, because the reader probably would have serious problems following it. However, one of the addresses on hits the high points of theory as it relates to constructing sets of examples that lead to one and only one possible interpretation. The video is: Theory of Direct Instruction.

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