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Direct Instruction

  • By: Kent Johnson & Elizabeth M. Street
  • In: Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology
  • Edited by: Neil J. Salkind
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), Educational Psychology, School Psychology

Direct instruction has at least two meanings. The first meaning refers to the generic behavioral features of explicit teaching in which teachers demonstrate a performance, guide students as they attempt to perform, and continue student/teacher exchanges until students can perform without further guidance. Barak Rosen-shine and others have described these features in detail. Thomas Gilbert developed a classic direct instruction model, which he called Mathetics, a Greek word meaning ‘to learn.’ Teachers who implement direct instruction methods are usually teaching well-defined learning objectives; for example, simple associations such as the table of elements in chemistry; sequences such as the long division algorithm; concepts such as kinds of trees or modern art styles; and applications of principles such as supply and demand in economics, rules of ...

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