DI vs. di vs. EDI
Direct Instruction (DI)
Direct Instruction was developed by Dr. Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann during the 1960s. It is a scripted program where teachers are given cues to follow throughout a lesson. Student interaction is largely choral responses following a teacher signal.
direct instruction (di)
Dr. Barak Rosenshine used the term direct instruction in his 1976 teacher effectiveness research to describe a set of teaching practices found to be significantly related to increasing student achievement.
Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI)
In 2009, Dr. Silvia Ybarra and John Hollingsworth of DataWORKS Educational Research published their own version of direct instruction called Explicit Direct Instruction® (EDI®). This model was built upon the research of Rosenshine, Marzano, Sousa, and others along with DataWORKS’ research in schools. This research included 25,000 classroom observations, analysis of over 2 million student assignments, and teaching EDI lessons in K-12 classrooms in all content areas.
EDI vs. DI
Since the publication of Explicit Direct Instruction: The Power of the Well-Crafted, Well-Taught Lesson in 2009, questions have arisen about the difference between Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) and the Direct Instruction (DI) model that has been used in classrooms for decades. In developing EDI, DataWORKS took the best practices from all versions of direct instruction and combined them with the best practices from the past 100 years of educational research to create Explicit Direct Instruction.
This article discusses specific differences between EDI and DI in the areas of Lesson Design, Lesson Delivery, and Student Engagement.
Comparing EDI Lessons to DI Lessons
EDI lessons include seven lesson design components that educational research proves are vital for student learning and long-term retention. EDI lessons are ready to teach yet still allow teachers to control the pace of the lesson, to modify instruction as a result of real-time assessment of student learning through Checking for Understanding questions, and to include their own engagement strategies to manage the classroom. EDI lessons are 75-80 percent new content and 20-25 percent review of prior knowledge and sub-skills. EDI lessons also include Periodic Review practice pages for review (e.g., five, ten, and 15 days after initial instruction).
DI lessons typically provide a word-for-word script for teachers to follow including specific cues to the teacher for when to ask questions and how to reply to each student response. According to the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI), the DI program is organized so that skills are introduced gradually, giving children a chance to learn those skills and apply them before being required to learn another new set of skills. Only 10 percent of each lesson is new material. The remaining 90 percent of each lesson’s content is review and application of skills students have already learned but need practice with in order to master. Skills and concepts are taught in isolation and then integrated with other skills into more sophisticated, higher-level applications.
The table below highlights some of the specific differences in the design of lessons for EDI and DI.
|EDI lessons are based on seven design components:
||DI lessons are based on a script that the teacher reads that calls for student choral responses. After reading a statement, the teacher gives a signal (a tap) to cue the students to respond together.If necessary, the teacher repeats a statement until the student responses are firm (all students responding similarly).|
|Lessons are a framework. Teacher decisions are made based on student responses to Checking for Understanding (CFU) questions.
||Teachers use manuals with precise instructions about how to deliver the highly-structured or scripted lessons.
Comparing EDI Delivery to DI Delivery
EDI lesson delivery means using a variety of research-based strategies to explain, model (teacher think alouds), and demonstrate concepts for students – while also incorporating strategies for student engagement and Checking for Understanding. EDI is both teacher-centered and student-centered instruction at different points throughout the lesson.
According to NIFDI, DI lesson delivery incorporates engaged time, small group instruction, and specific and immediate feedback. In DI, students can be retaught if unsuccessful, or, successful students can be accelerated to a new placement or classroom level.
The table below highlights some of the specific differences between EDI and DI for lesson delivery.
Comparing EDI to DI
Student Engagement is a central focus of both EDI and DI.
EDI uses a set of Engagement Norms that remind teachers to ask students to do something (about every two minutes) throughout the lesson. The Engagement Norms include whole-class strategies such as tracked reading, pair-sharing with a partner, and responding to questions through whiteboards.
DI student engagement is based on students making choral responses. Having students respond all together reduces competitiveness between students and allows students to hear responses of their peers.
The table below highlights some of the specific differences between student engagement strategies for EDI and DI.
|EDI teachers are taught to use whole-class Student Engagement Norms while teaching.
Classroom management is maintained through the constant engagement of students (i.e., students don’t have time to misbehave.)
Both EDI and DI are successful, research-based teaching methods that have proven successful in schools across the globe.
In an educational experiment that began in 1968, Project Follow Through determined that students in grades K-3 who were taught in the method of Direct Instruction “had significantly higher academic achievement than students in any of the other programs.” Those other programs included Parent Education, Open Education, TEEM, Responsive Education, and many more.
It is our belief and our finding that by incorporating some of the best elements of DI and combining them with other research-based strategies, Explicit Direct Instruction takes classroom instruction a step further, making it the most successful method of classroom instruction to teach students something new at all grade levels.
John Hollingsworth, Silvia Ybarra
Explicit Direct Instruction: The Power of the Well-Crafted, Well-Taught Lesson, Corwin Press, 2009.
How the Brain Learns, Corwin 2005
“Synthesis of Research on Explicit Teaching”
Educational Leadership, April, 1986
“Principles of Instruction: Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers Should Know”
American Educator, Spring 2012
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