Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 193–213 | Cite as

Direct instruction: What it is and what it is becoming

  • Diane Kinder
  • Douglas Carnine


This essay describes the principles of Direct Instruction design and delivery used to establish clear, unambiguous communication and maximize student responding. Direct Instruction research findings are summarized: achievement of low-income students in Follow Through, longitudinal results, and the effectiveness of Direct Instruction for students with handicaps. Finally, new directions for Direct Instruction, technological applications and instruction of higher-order skills, are discussed.

Key words

direct instruction follow through instruction higher-order skills 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abt Associates. (1976).Education as experimentation: A planned variation model (Vol. III). Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Abt Associates. (1977).Education as experimentation: A planned variation model (Vol. IV). Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, W. C. (1977). Teaching reading and language to the disadvantaged: What we have learned from field research.Harvard Education Review, 47, 518–543.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, W. C. (1978). The national evaluation of Follow Through: Behavior-theory-based programs come out on top.Education and Urban Society, 10, 431–458.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, W. C., & Carnine, D. W. (1980). Direct instruction: An effective approach to educational intervention with the disadvantaged and low performers. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.),Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 429–473). New York: Plenum Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  6. Becker, W. C., & Engelmann, S. (1978).Analysis of achievement data on six cohorts of low-income children from 20 school districts in the University of Oregon Direct Instruction Follow Through Model. (Technical report 78-1). Eugene, OR: University of Oregon.Google Scholar
  7. Becker, W. C., & Gersten, R. (1982). A follow-up of Follow Through: The later effects of the direct instruction model on children in fifth and sixth grades.American Educational Research Journal, 19, 75–92.Google Scholar
  8. Brophy, J. E. & Good, T. L. (1986). Teacher behavior and student achievement. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.),Handbook of Research on Teaching. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. Carnine, D. W. (1976). The effects of two teacher presentation rates on off task behavior, answering correctly, and participation.Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 9, 199–206.Google Scholar
  10. Carnine, D. W. (1980). Phonic versus whole-word correction procedures follow phonic instruction.Education and Treatment of Children, 3, 323–330.Google Scholar
  11. Carnine, D. W. (1981). High and low implementation of direct instruction teaching techniques.Education and Treatment of Children, 4, 42–54.Google Scholar
  12. Carnine, D. (1984). Mainstreaming computers.Educational Leadership, 41(8), 77–82.Google Scholar
  13. Carnine, D. W., Kameenui, E. J., & Maggs, A. (1982). Components of analytic assistance: Statement saying, concept training, and strategy training.Journal of Educational Research, 75, 374–377.Google Scholar
  14. Collins, M., & Carnine, D. (1988). Evaluating the field test revision process by comparing two versions of a reasoning skills CAI program.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 21, 375–379.Google Scholar
  15. Collins, M., Carnine, D., & Gersten, R. (1987). Elaborated corrective feedback and the acquisition of reasoning skills: A study of computer-assisted instruction.Exceptional Children, 54, 254–262.Google Scholar
  16. Darch, C., & Carnine, D. (1986). Approaches to teaching learning-disabled students literal comprehension during content area instruction.Exceptional Children, 53, 240–246.Google Scholar
  17. Darch, C., Carnine, D., & Kameenui, E. (1986). The role of visual displays and social structure in content-area instruction.Journal of Reading Behavior, 18, 275–295.Google Scholar
  18. Day, H. M., & Horner, R. H. (1986). Response variation and the generalization of dressing skills.Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 7, 189–202.Google Scholar
  19. Dimino, J., Gersten, R., Carnine, D., & Blake, G. (in press). Using story grammar to promote ninth graders' comprehension of literature.Elementary School Journal.Google Scholar
  20. Dixon, B. (1978).Teaching spelling. Unpublished manuscript. Eugene, OR: Division of Teacher Education, University of Oregon.Google Scholar
  21. Dunn, L. M., & Smith, J. O. (1966).Peabody language development kit. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service, Inc.Google Scholar
  22. Engelmann, S., Becker, W., Haner, S., & Johnson, G. (1979).Corrective reading. Chicago: Science Research Associates.Google Scholar
  23. Engelmann, S., & Bruner, E. C. (1988).Reading mastery. Chicago: Science Research Associates.Google Scholar
  24. Engelmann, S., & Carnine, D. (1981).Corrective mathematics. Chicago: Science Research Associates.Google Scholar
  25. Engelmann, S., & Carnine, D. (1982).Theory of instruction. New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
  26. Engelmann, S., & Osborn, J. (1976).Distar language. Chicago: Science Research Associates.Google Scholar
  27. Englemann, S., & Carnine, D. (1991).Connecting math concepts. Chicago: Science Research Associates.Google Scholar
  28. Gange, E. (1985).The cognitive psychology of school learning. Boston: Little Brown & Company.Google Scholar
  29. Gersten, R. (1985). Direct Instruction with special education students: A review of evaluation research.Journal of Special Education, 19, 41–58.Google Scholar
  30. Gersten, R., Becker, W. C., Heiry, T. J., & White, W. A. T. (1984). Entry IQ and yearly academic growth of children in Direct Instruction programs: A longitudinal study of low SES children.Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 6(2), 109–121.Google Scholar
  31. Gersten, R., Carnine, D., & Williams, P. (1982). Measuring implementation of a structured educational model in an urban school district: An observation approach.Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 4, 67–79.Google Scholar
  32. Gersten, R., Darch, C., & Gleason, M. (1988). Effectiveness of direct instruction academic kindergarten for low-income students.The Elementary School Journal, 89, 227–240.Google Scholar
  33. Gersten, R., & Keating, T. (1987). Improving high school performance of “at-risk” students: A study of long-term benefits of direct instruction.Educational Leadership, 44(6, 28–31.Google Scholar
  34. Greenwood, C. R., Delquardi, J. C., & Hall, R. V. (1984). Opportunity to respond and student academic performance. In W. L. Heward, T. E. Heron, D. S. Hill & J. Trap-Porter (Eds.),Focus on Behavior Analysis in Education (pp. 58–88). Columbus, OH: Merrill Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  35. Grossen, B., & Carnine, D. (1990). Diagramming a logical strategy: Effects in difficult problem types and transfer.Learning Disability Quarterly, 13, 168–182.Google Scholar
  36. Gurney, D., Gersten, R., Dimino, J., & Carnine, D. (1990). Story grammar: Effective literature instruction for high school students with learning disabilities.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23, 335–342.Google Scholar
  37. Haney, W. (1977).A technical history of the national Follow Through evaluation. Cambridge, MA: Huron Institute.Google Scholar
  38. Hayden, M., Wheeler, M., & Carnine, D. (1989). The effects of an innovative classroom networking system and an electronic gradebook on time spent scoring and summarizing student performance.Education and Treatment of Children, 12, 253–264.Google Scholar
  39. Hofmeister, A., Engelmann, S., & Carnine, D. (1989). Developing and validating science education videodiscs.Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 26(7).Google Scholar
  40. Horner, R. H., & Albin, R. W. (1988). Research on general-case procedures for learners with severe disabilities.Education & Treatment of Children, 11, 375–388.Google Scholar
  41. Horner, R. H., Albin, R. W., Ralph, G. (1986). Generalization with precision: The role of negative teaching examples in the instruction of generalized grocery item selection.Journal for the Association of Persons with Severe Handicaps, 11, 300–308.Google Scholar
  42. Horner, R. H., & McDonald, R. S. (1982). A comparison of single instance and general case instruction in teaching a generalized vocational skill.Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 7(3), 7–20.Google Scholar
  43. House, E. R., Glass, G. V., McLean, L. D., & Walker, D. F. (1978). No simple answer: Critique of the Follow Through evaluation.Harvard Educational Review, 48, 128–160.Google Scholar
  44. Kelly, B., Carnine, D., Gersten, R., & Grossen, B. (1986). The effectiveness of videodisc instruction in teaching fractions to learning-disabled and remedial high school students.Journal of Special Education Technology, 8(2), 5–17.Google Scholar
  45. Kinder, D., & Bursuck, W. (in press). The search for a unified social studies curriculum: Does history really repeat itself.Journal of Learning Disabilities.Google Scholar
  46. Lloyd, J., Cullinan, D., Heins, E. D., & Epstein, M. H. (1980). Direct Instruction: Effects on oral and written language comprehension.Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 3, 70–76.Google Scholar
  47. Lloyd, J., Epstein, M. H., & Cullinan, D. (1981). Direct teaching for learning disabilities. In J. Gottlieb & S. Strichort (Eds.),Perspectives on handicapping conditions: Current research and application in learning disabilities. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press.Google Scholar
  48. McDaniels, G. L. (1975). The evaluation of Follow Through.Educational Researcher 4, 7–11.Google Scholar
  49. Maggs, A., & Morath, P. (1976). Effects of direct verbal instruction on intellectual development of institutionalized moderately retarded children: A 2-year study.Journal of Special Education, 10, 357–364.Google Scholar
  50. Moore, L., & Carnine, D. (1989). Evaluating curriculum design in the context of active teaching.Remedial and Special Education, 10, 28–37.Google Scholar
  51. Moore, L., Carnine, D., Stepnoski, M., & Woodward, J. (1987). Research on the efficiency of low-cost networking.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 20, 574–576.Google Scholar
  52. Niedelman, M. (in press). Problem solving and transfer.Journal of Learning Disabilities.Google Scholar
  53. Patching, W., Kameenui, E., Carnine, D., Gersten, R., & Colvin, G. (1983). Direct instruction in critical reading.Reading Research Quarterly, 18, 406–418.Google Scholar
  54. Prawat, R. S. (1989). Promoting access to knowledge, strategy, and disposition in students: A research synthesis.Review of Educational Research, 59, 1–42.Google Scholar
  55. Resnick, L. B. (1987).Education and learning to think. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  56. Ross, D., & Carnine, D. W. (1982). Analytic assistance: Effects of example selection, subjects age, and syntactic complexity.Journal of Educational Research, 75, 294–298.Google Scholar
  57. Skemp, R. R. (1978). Relational understanding and instrumental understanding.Arithmetic Teacher, 26, 9–15.Google Scholar
  58. Sprague, J., & Horner, R. H. (1984). An experimental analysis of generalized vending machine use with severely handicapped students.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 17, 273–278.Google Scholar
  59. Stein, C. L., & Goldman, J. (1980). Beginning reading instruction for children with minimal brain disfunction.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 13, 52–55.Google Scholar
  60. Systems Impact. (1991).Geometry. Gaithersburg, MD: Author.Google Scholar
  61. White, W. A. T. (1988). A meta-analysis of the effects of direct instruction in special education.Education & Treatment of Children, 11, 364–374.Google Scholar
  62. Woodward, J., Carnine, D., & Gersten, R. (1988). Teaching problem solving through computer simulations.American Educational Research Journal, 25, 72–86.Google Scholar
  63. Woodward, J., Carnine, D., Gersten, R., Moore, L., & Golden, N. (1987). Using computer networking for feedback.Journal of Special Education Technology, 8(4), 28–35.Google Scholar
  64. Woodward, J., & Noell, J. (in press). Science instruction at the secondary level: Duplications for students with LD.Journal of Learning Disabilities.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane Kinder
    • 1
  • Douglas Carnine
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalb
  2. 2.University of OregonEugene

Personalised recommendations