Dr. Bob KIzlik
Updated February 19,
"Tell them what
you're going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said."
declarative sentence above illustrates one of the most powerful concepts
ADPRIMA. Probably as much as any other "instructional method," direct
teaching, also known as direct instruction, is both misunderstood, but at
the same time can be a powerful teaching tool in the classroom. For new
teachers, it provides an anchor, a proven technique and focus that can
provide a measure of stability in those first hectic months of teaching. The
name most associated with direct teaching is Madeline Hunter. Direct
teaching is also associated with Clinical Teaching, Target Teaching, and
Instructional Theory into Practice (TIP). To be sure, there are many who
dismiss direct teaching as an ineffective model, but one must question such
assertions with a deeper question: "Ineffective compared to what?"
Direct teaching is
a systematic instructional method that first and foremost requires the
teacher to have a command of the subject matter at as close to a mastery
level as possible. This means that whether subject matter is at the
elementary level, middle school level, high school level, college level or
adult education level, that the teacher thoroughly "understand"
the content. Such understanding presupposes that the teacher "knows" more
than the facts that describe the content. It also means that the teacher
understands the structure of the content. In short, it means that the
teacher understands each item of the content in more than one way. The main
purpose of direct teaching is to provide information within a structure that
enables all students to attain the stated objectives at a level of mastery.
Inferences may be made at this point that direct teaching is least
attractive to those teachers who themselves lack mastery of the content. Can
teachers be effective without using direct teaching? Of course. In fact,
many, if not most successful instructional episodes occupy a continuum of
teaching methods from direct teaching to cooperative learning and individual
Direct teaching or
direct instruction is a systematic way of planning, communicating, and
delivering in the classroom. One does not become proficient at this, or any
skill without practice and relevant feedback. Direct teaching is probably
best for teaching skills, not understandings, and so, the teacher must
practice these skills himself as perfectly as possible.
The following sites
provide insight into Madeline Hunter's direct teaching model and ideas. The
purpose is to provide information that can help you sharpen your skills and
help you understand this sometimes maligned approach that can be a valuable
part of your instructional repertoire. What follows is serious information.
Elements of Effective Instruction The
Madeline Hunter Model explained.
Direct Teaching of Thinking Good
information from the University of Akron.
Classroom and Direct Teaching Strategies From
Education consultants of the Midwest, a nicely described page on direct
Sunderland (UK) This
page is the result of a student project that involves direct teaching. Go
there to get some interesting ideas. A nicely done page.
Teachers Talking Teaching
styles for active learning from UNICEF.