Our Method – Direct Instruction

Direct Instruction is an explicit, intensive instructional teaching method that allows students of all abilities to become confident, capable learners. Originally developed by renowned educator Zig Engelmann of the University of Oregon, Direct Instruction is the best and most thoroughly researched teaching method available. In more than 300 studies conducted over 55 years, Direct Instruction has consistently outperformed all other teaching methods in speed and quality of learning.


“All students can learn when taught correctly, regardless of past history and background. If the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” - Siegfried "Zig" Engelmann, founder of the Direct Instruction teaching method.

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The unique features of Direct Instruction – consistent language, carefully sequenced material, highly individualized delivery, and continuous assessment – set it apart from any other method:

Academic Subjects
Direct Instruction provides a solid foundation for the core academic subjects: reading, math, writing, comprehension and spelling.

Program Placement
Placement tests are administered so that each student begins at an appropriate level, as determined by their current level of skill in a given subject area rather than their age. If the student has enough skills to be placed in a program and do the first steps, they are guaranteed to be able to complete the entire program successfully.

Consistent Language
Direct Instruction programs are highly structured and scripted using clear, concise language based on results demonstrated through research, ensuring that students grasp concepts the first time they are presented, and that the instructor’s focus remains firmly on interactions with the student.

Carefully Sequenced Material
The systematic, sequential “stair-step” design of Direct Instruction ensures that previously learned knowledge and skills are integrated with a carefully controlled amount of new material in each lesson. Continual progress is achieved without overwhelming the learner. Concepts are broken down into manageable steps, moving from basic skills to integrated, sophisticated skills.

Highly Individualized Delivery
Quick pacing and constant interaction between instructor and student keeps lessons engaging, and allows for the most efficient, concentrated instruction possible. Students are given instantaneous feedback on their performance through behaviour-specific positive reinforcement and immediate error corrections.

Continuous Assessment & Mastery
Continuous formal and informal assessment is incorporated into every Direct Instruction program to monitor student learning. Due to the design of Direct Instruction programs, every single task within a lesson can be used as an ongoing, accurate assessment of the student’s performance and level of understanding. Skills are taught to mastery before moving on to their more complex applications.


The results speak for themselves. The Direct Instruction teaching method has been repeatedly validated by 50 years of academic and scientific research. No other method even comes close to matching the volume of research conducted on the effectiveness of Direct Instruction, whether used as a core curriculum or as a targeted intervention.

Project Follow Through
The largest education study ever conducted, Project Follow Through, found Direct Instruction to be vastly superior to every other method studied in all areas tested: basic academic skills, problem-solving skills, and self-esteem.

Project Follow Through Results

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