Oct 2, 2008

Direct Instruction - for Jordan?

I am reading an interesting and entertaining book these days, Super Crunchers. (a very good review) The book emphasizes the importance of using Statistical Evidence for making decisions in every aspect of life where data is available.

One of the examples the book talks about is Direct Instruction (DISTAR) teaching method. According to the book, this was the most successful teaching method tested in the huge Project Follow-Through educational experiment that the American government conducted in the 60s/70s.

The method is outrageous: the course is fully-scripted! The teach simply goes through the script.
However, its success rate is huge. Thinking further about it, I think it might prove very useful in basic-learning classes, like languages or basic math, where a lot of concepts need to be learned. This is of course as opposed to classes that are supposed to expand critical-thinking like Philosophy or Algorithm Programming.

This method might be a perfect fit for teaching English in Jordanian public schools.

The method was devised at University of Oregon. They have a favorable article about it here. Many teachers in the US do not like this method, calling it "teacher-proof" method. However, I'm interested in learning more about it.

Here is a graph on the effectiveness of this method compared to others.

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