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What is it?

The Glossary of Educational Reform defines it as: 


1) instructional approaches that are structured, sequenced, and led by teachers, and/or


(2) the presentation of academic content to students by teachers, such as in a lecture or demonstration.


In short, teachers are “directing” the instructional process or instruction is being “directed” at students.


Some of the Characteristics of direct instruction are as follows:


Created by the teacher


Teacher led


Mostly used to teach skills/can be used to teach ideas


Is prepared ahead of time and usually scripted


Is linked to prior learning


Standards and outcomes are stated in the class


Requires interaction of students in class


Provides feedback to the students


Allows students to practice and builds off of last class

Allows for immediate feed back


Direct instruction evolved from Behaviorism which is a theory based on the assumption that students/humans are products of environment; therefore they will mimic what is seen. (Skinner)



Student academic development can be measured easily.


It can be a way to create good classroom management. 


Great for students who are visual because it allows them to see what the teacher is saying.





Instruction is teacher centric. Limited communication from students.


There is little room for the teacher to be creative.



Only works with some populations of students.


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