Reading comprehension

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Continuing from my last post I asked the question (in the context of reading comprehension):

Why can’t our educational system bring those who have not been to pre-school to the same level as their peers who have?

I believe that that Precision teaching & Direct Instruction could hold the answer.

Direct instruction is a general term for the explicit teaching of a skill-set using lectures or demonstrations of the material.

Precision teaching being a precise and systematic method of evaluating instructional tactics and curricula. They are concepts usually combined but are currently not implemented in UK classrooms.

To understand the situation within education in terms of reading comprehension I suggest that you pick up a copy of one of the following:

Fleisch – Why Johnny can’t read: and what you can do about it

– Why Johnny still can’t read: a new look of the scandal of our schools

Snider   – Myths and misconception of teaching

These (or one of these) will provide you with a good outline of the battle for research based techniques in the area. (A word of caution though, these books are not entirely free of bias so take the message with a pinch of salt)

In terms of research, a major article in support of direct instruction is project follow through – longitudinal research carried out between 1968-1977 involving 700,00 children across the US. It compared 9 different educational models, below is a graph showing the data:

as you can see direct instruction is the only model that shows positive results in all of the measures.

From this evidence it is safe to say that DI appears to be the best model to teach reading comprehension (along with other core subjects) and I would suggest its implementation in the classroom.

In reference to my original question:

I am not saying that implementing Direct Instruction will definitely close the gap between those who have been to pre-school and those who haven’t, but if the optimum teaching model does not work, it places emphasis on pre-school and out of classroom experiences of students.

Any thoughts?


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