Over the past couple of years (and I assume for a much longer time, too), a number of people, particularly “school reformers,” have been saying that direct instruction is clearly superior to guided inquiry.
Listen, I certainly do my fair share of direct instruction. However, it’s only to “set-up” guided inquiry, which is the primary instructional strategy that I use in all my classes.
Today, Anthony Cody posted a great guest piece on this topic at his Education Week blog. I thought it would be good timing, then, to highlight that post and other posts I’ve written on the topic.
Here are my choices for The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior”:
I’ve got to start with the post at Anthony’s blog, Karl Wheatley: Has Direct Instruction Banished Exploration? Not So Fast!
Is This The Most Important Research Study Of The Year? Maybe is about a must-read study reported on by Robert Marzano.
I wrote a post titled “If Students Believe That A Teacher Has Taught Them Everything, They Will Be Less Motivated To Explore.” It was about a study suggesting that direct instruction was less effective than some kind of guided discovery. Since that time, I’ve learned that both Slate (Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School) and The Economist (When should you teach children, and when should you let them explore? ) also wrote about that study and a second similar one.
Some Hubris About Instructional Strategies & Some Good Plain Talk On School Reform about a bizarre op-ed piece a Harvard professor wrote in The New York Times.
Don’t Lecture Me: Rethinking How College Students Learn comes from MindShift.
Is Direct Instruction an Answer to the Right Question? is by Deanna Kuhn.
Make study more effective, the easy way is from Mind Hacks.
Yet Another Study Finds Constructivism Tends To Work Better Than Direct Instruction
Additional suggestions are welcome.
Your GPS Is Making You Dumber, and What That Means for Teaching is by Dan Meyer.
Meta-Analysis of Inquiry-Based Learning is a somewhat useful study. It highlights the effectiveness of inquiry-based learning, and also explores the importance of providing guidance to it. I’m not really show, however, what responsible educator wouldn’t do just that.
Larry Cuban raises more questions than giving answers about teacher talk and direct instruction in two interesting posts: Whatever Happened to Direct Instruction? (Part 1) and Teacher Talk, Student Talk: Historical Dilemma (Part 2).
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You might also want to explore the 900 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.