Teaching Strategies List – It Starts Here.

Teaching Strategies List - Direct InstructionTeaching Strategies List - You MUST use this one.

I hate semantics. Honestly, I hate arguing about definitions so I really don't want to get into an argument about Direct Instruction. I understand why it is important but I really want to focus on why Direct Instruction should be at the top of your teaching strategies list when relief teaching.

But let me briefly give MY definition of Direct Instruction so I can explain why I think this should be a big part of your teaching strategies list if it is not already.

Direct Instruction - A Brief History Lesson

Let me explain. Siegfried Engelmann and others are reported to have developed this system in 1960 at the University of Oregon. He developed a DISTAR (Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading) model and  McGraw Hill took it up and developed resources. I would like to point out the teaching model where a teacher teaches and a student learns has been around since Adam played full back for Jerusalem.

The difference today is that kids are no longer belted if they don't learn.

You see, in the olden days ( remember I started school in 1959) teachers knew whether you learnt or didn't learn because they belted you if you didn't.

Today you don't get belted, but I wonder whether teachers are as judicious about finding out who has learnt and who hasn't.

Direct Instruction - What The Critics Say

People who criticise  direct instruction say that it as a betrayal of the humanistic, egalitarian foundations of public education. Direct Instruction has also been criticised for being inflexible.  Libertarian critics see the approach as too authoritarian.

I hope I can show you that none of these criticisms are true.

Direct Instruction is a teaching strategy that

  • emphasizes the use of carefully sequenced steps and highly focused lessons
  • that include demonstration, modeling, guided practice, and independent application.

Direct Instruction has the following key elements

  • The teacher is in charge.
  • The lessons are sequenced and focused.
  • The goal is to develop mastery so the kids
    • can do it;
    • know it;
    • understand it and
    • apply it. ("IT" being what ever you want the kids to DO, LEARN or UNDERSTAND)

Keep it on TOP of your teaching strategies list.


Direct Instruction
will be most successful
when it is
-> Explicit
-> Intensive
-> Teacher controlled.

The Teaching Strategies List

relief teaching finger

1. Teaching Strategies List – The Key to Relief Teaching Success

2. This One

3. Coming Soon - Teaching Strategies List - Using Direct Instruction in your Relief Teaching gigs



Just some of my Direct Instruction lessons for relief teachers include

Stay tuned for more in the Teaching Strategies List series.

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