Welcome to the NIFDI Direct Instruction Research Database. Here, we have sought to create a comprehensive archive of all articles, reports and studies done on Direct Instruction. This is a free service. Once you have selected the articles you would like us to forward, click on the "Check out" button. After you enter the requested information, your request will be forwarded to our office and we will fulfill your request within 3 working days.

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1 of 98
"Direct Instruction for teaching “hard to teach” students"
Author(s):Mathes, P. G. & Proctor, T. J.
Year:1988
Abstract:This article addresses the challenges of teaching students labeled as “hard to teach” and the effectiveness of Direct Instruction with these students. The term hard to teach student is examined to highlight the variety of students it represents. The Direct Instruction model is reviewed in terms of its design, presentation techniques, how it differs from other programs, and its effect with students of varying ability. Multiple efficacy studies are reviewed, and their results are summarized. Additionally, common criticisms of Direct Instruction are discussed. In review of the available research on the effectiveness of research on Direct Instruction, results indicated Direct Instruction is an effective approach in remedying the educational deficits of disadvantaged students and students with learning disabilities. Problems with implementing Direct Instruction and criticisms of its design can be overcome after the program has been in use for a period of time to allow for teachers to see its effect with students first hand.
Description of the Study:This article addresses the challenges of teaching students labeled as “hard to teach” and the effectiveness of Direct Instruction with these students. The term hard to teach student is examined to highlight the variety of students it represents. The Direct Instruction model is reviewed in terms of its design, presentation techniques, how it differs from other programs, and its effect with students of varying ability. Multiple efficacy studies are reviewed, and their results are summarized. Additionally, common criticisms of Direct Instruction are discussed.
Article Type:Descriptive
Journal/Source:Reading Improvement, 25(2), 92-97
Other Tags:Direct Instruction, DISTAR, hard to teach students, Project Follow Through
Affiliation:Katy Independent School District, Baylor University
Design Type:Literature Review
Fidelity Data Reported:N/A
Location/Setting:N/A
Participants:Hard to teach students, students with learning disabilities, disadvantaged students, students with mental retardation, low performing students, elementary students, kindergarten students
Results:In review of the available research on the effectiveness of research on Direct Instruction, results indicated Direct Instruction is an effective approach in remedying the educational deficits of disadvantaged students and students with learning disabilities. Problems with implementing Direct Instruction and criticisms of its design can be overcome after the program has been in use for a period of time to allow for teachers to see its effect with students first hand.
Students Included:Hard to teach students, students with learning disabilities, disadvantaged students, students with mental retardation, low performing students, elementary students, kindergarten students
2 of 98
"Direct Instruction mathematics programs: An overview and research summary"
Author(s):Pryzchodzin, A. M., Marchnad-Martella, N. E., Martella, R. C., & Azim, D.
Year:2004
Abstract:This article provides a comprehensive overview of Direct Instruction mathematics programs. It compares the programs to a constructivist approach and shows how the DI programs meet the principles for improving mathematics instruction developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Results of studies of the efficacy of the DI mathematics programs are summarized, focusing on a meta-analysis of studies published before the early 1990s and 12 individual studies published from the 1990s to the date of the article. The meta-analysis of 37 studies published before the mid-1990s found an average effect size of 1.11 in favor of the DI programs, more than four times the level traditionally seen as educationally significant. Of the 12 individual studies reviewed, eleven found the DI programs to be effective. The results appeared in a variety of settings with a range of students. The only exception involved a study of five students that employed a slight modification of a DI mathematics program and assessed achievement with a test designed by the teachers in the study.
Description of the Study:
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:Journal of Direct Instruction, 4(1), 53-84
Other Tags:DISTAR Arithmetic, Corrective Mathematics, Connecting Math Concepts, constructivist approach
Affiliation:
Design Type:Narrative Literature Review
Fidelity Data Reported:N/A
Location/Setting:N/A
Participants:
Results:
Students Included:N/A
3 of 98
"Improving elementary level mathematics achievement in a large urban district: The effects of Direct Instruction"
Author(s):Stockard, J.
Year:2010
Abstract:This study examined changes in mathematics achievement over time in the BCPSS by comparing achievement of students in schools that used Direct Instruction programs with those that did not. Two DI programs were used, depending on students’ level and needs: DISTAR Arithmetic and Connecting Math Concepts. Mathematics achievement was assessed with the nationally normed Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) in the spring of each year, with sub-tests regarding 1) computations and 2) concepts and applications. Study A examined changes in the average achievement of first grade students over time. Study B looked at changes in individuals’ scores from first grade to fifth grade. Statistical models assessed the extent to which changes could be attributed to exposure to the DI programs, adjusting for differences in the average socio-economic level of the students’ schools. Results for the panel study were reported for both the full set of schools and for a smaller sample in which schools were matched on socio-economic characteristics. The average achievement of first grade students increased throughout the BCPSS in the study period. However, the increases were substantially larger for students in the DI schools than in the control schools. These differences were both statistically and educationally significant. The largest differences appeared in the later years of the study as Direct Instruction became fully implemented and incorporated within the schools. Results with Study B found that students in all groups had similar gains in computational skills from first to fifth grade. With the measure of concepts and applications, scores of students in the full set of control schools declined, over average, over time; while scores of the DI students and those in the reduced sample of comparison schools increased. However, the increase was significantly larger for the DI students. The effect size for the DI students was twice as large as that for the reduced sample of control students (.61 compared to .32). Similar results appeared with and without statistical controls.
Description of the Study:
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:Journal of Direct Instruction, 10(Winter), 1-16
Other Tags:DISTAR Arithmetic, Connecting Math Concepts, Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS), implementation, whole school reform, basal program
Affiliation:
Design Type:Post-test only control group design (Study A) and a longitudinal panel design (Study B); both with statistical controls
Fidelity Data Reported:Yes
Location/Setting:Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS), elementary school
Participants:
Results:
Students Included:Students receiving free or reduced price lunch, African American students, Asian American students, Hispanic students, Native American students, and non-Hispanic white students
4 of 98
"Effectiveness of the DISTAR Reading I program in developing first graders’ language skills"
Author(s):Sexton, C. W.
Year:1989
Abstract:This study compared the effect of DISTAR Reading and a basal reading program on increasing the school-based language ability of 80 African American elementary students. Data came from from two urban elementary schools, one of which used DISTAR and one used a basal reading program. Forty students from each school were randomly selected for testing. The Metropolitan Readiness Test was administered for pretest measures and the Slosson Intelligence Test for posttest measures. In comparing mean scores on the Slosson Intelligence Test, students in the DISTAR group scored approximately 9 points more than the adjusted mean of the students in the basal reader group. When initial language ability was held constant, students in the DISTAR group with either high or low language ability, demonstrated significantly higher scores than students in the basal group. Additionally, the DISTAR Reading program was as effective for students with average or high initial language ability as for students with low initial language ability.
Description of the Study:This study compared the effect of DISTAR Reading and a basal reading program on increasing the school-based language ability of 80 African American elementary students. Data came from from two urban elementary schools, one of which used DISTAR and one used a basal reading program. Forty students from each school were randomly selected for testing. The Metropolitan Readiness Test was administered for pretest measures and the Slosson Intelligence Test for posttest measures.
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:Journal of Educational Research, 82(5), 289-293
Other Tags:DISTAR Reading, reading, language, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Basal Reading Program, Slosson Intelligence Test, Metropolitan Readiness Test
Affiliation:University of Houston
Design Type:Pretest Posttest Control Group Design
Fidelity Data Reported:No
Location/Setting:Southwest, metropolitan area, urban area, elementary school
Participants:African American students, Hispanic students, Caucasian students, elementary students, low-SES students, general education students
Results:In comparing mean scores on the Slosson Intelligence Test, students in the DISTAR group scored approximately 9 points more than the adjusted mean of the students in the basal reader group. When initial language ability was held constant, students in the DISTAR group with either high or low language ability, demonstrated significantly higher scores than students in the basal group. Thus, the researchers concluded that the DISTAR Reading program was as effective for students with average or high initial language ability as for students with low initial language ability.
Students Included:African American students, Hispanic students, Caucasian students, elementary students, low-SES students
5 of 98
"The Direct Instruction Follow Through model: Design and outcomes"
Author(s):Engelmann, S., Becker, W. C., Carnine, D., & Gersten, R.
Year:1988
Abstract:This article examines the results of the Direct Instruction (DI) model from project Follow Through. Research findings are discussed as well as the components of the DI model. Key components covered include the curriculum, increasing teaching time, efficiently teaching, implementation, teacher expectations and attitudes, parental involvement, and comprehensive services. Results indicated that DI students developed both basic and cognitive skills, and were close to or at national norms on all measures of achievement. The DI model was the only model to demonstrate consistently positive outcomes across all measures. Results for students with low-IQs indicated that the DI model was clearly effective with students who had a higher probability of failure. During the 1980–81 school year, the Department of Education’s Joint Dissemination Review Panel certified all 12 Direct Instruction Follow Through projects as exemplary in reading and mathematics for the primary grades.
Description of the Study:This article examines the results of the Direct Instruction (DI) model from project Follow Through. Research findings are discussed as well as the components of the DI model. Key components covered include the curriculum, increasing teaching time, efficiently teaching, implementation, teacher expectations and attitudes, parental involvement, and comprehensive services.
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:Education and Treatment of Children, 11(4), 303-317
Other Tags:Project Follow Through, at-risk students, DISTAR, reading, mathematics
Affiliation:University of Oregon
Design Type:Longitudinal study
Fidelity Data Reported:No
Location/Setting:Elementary school, locations varied
Participants:Elementary students, at-risk students, general education students, students with low IQs
Results:Results indicated that DI students developed both basic and cognitive skills, and were close to or at national norms on all measures of achievement. The DI model was the only model to demonstrate consistently positive outcomes across all measures. Results for students with low-IQs indicated that the DI model was clearly effective with students who had a higher probability of failure. During the 1980–81 school year, the Department of Education’s Joint Dissemination Review Panel certified all 12 Direct Instruction Follow Through projects as exemplary in reading and mathematics for the primary grades.
Students Included:Elementary students, at-risk students, general education students, students with low IQs
6 of 98
"DISTAR language and reading programs: Effects upon SESAT scores"
Author(s):Luna, E.
Year:1974
Abstract:This study examined the effect of the DISTAR Language and Reading programs on the Stanford Early School Achievement Test (SESAT) scores of kindergarten students. Students from four Title I schools were selected to participate in the study. In two of the schools, students were heterogeneously age-grouped. Participants in the other two schools only contained older students. The two different groups were randomly assigned to either the DISTAR or control group. The SESAT was administered for pre- and posttest measures. Results from the SESAT indicate that the control group demonstrated higher scores than the DISTAR group on all pretest measures. DISTAR students demonstrated exceptional gains on the Letter & Sounds subtest. This was the only subtest which the DISTAR students demonstrated greater gains than the control group. There were no significant differences between the scores of the four groups on the other subtests of the SESAT. Additionally, results indicated that age was not a significant factor on students’ achievement.
Description of the Study:This study examined the effect of the DISTAR Language and Reading programs on the Stanford Early School Achievement Test (SESAT) scores of kindergarten students. Students from four Title I schools were selected to participate in the study. In two of the schools, students were heterogeneously age-grouped. Participants in the other two schools only contained older students. The two different groups were randomly assigned to either the DISTAR or control group. The SESAT was administered for pre- and posttest measures.
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:Colorado Journal of Educational Research, 14, 2-5
Other Tags:DISTAR Language, DISTAR Reading, Stanford Early School Achievement Test
Affiliation:School District 60, Pueblo, Colorado
Design Type:Pretest posttest control group design
Fidelity Data Reported:No
Location/Setting:Elementary school, Title I school
Participants:
Results:Results from the SESAT indicate that the control group demonstrated higher scores than the DISTAR group on all pretest measures. DISTAR students demonstrated exceptional gains on the Letter & Sounds subtest. This was the only subtest which the DISTAR students demonstrated greater gains than the control group. There were no significant differences between the scores of the four groups on the other subtests of the SESAT. Additionally, results indicated that age was not a significant factor on students’ achievement.
Students Included:Kindergarten students
7 of 98
"Direct Instruction In An Urban School System"
Author(s):Di Obilda, Nicholas, Brent, George
Year:1986
Abstract:This study examined the effect of implementing the Direct Instruction program, Reading Mastery, in an urban school system. In each school, two teachers were randomly assigned to teach either Reading Mastery or the previously used basal reading program. Each class consisted of 25 second grade students who were randomly assigned to the classrooms. At the conclusion of grade 2, the students were administered the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, Form S, Level C. Results indicated that the only significant difference between the two groups was on the vocabulary subtest scores with students in the Reading Mastery group scoring significantly higher than students in the control group. On average, the Reading Mastery group scored at or above the national average on each measurement of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills while the control group scored below the national average. Additionally, the authors concluded that Reading Mastery was clearly superior in developing vocabulary skills.
Description of the Study:This study examined the effect of implementing the Direct Instruction program, Reading Mastery, in an urban school system. In each school, two teachers were randomly assigned to teach either Reading Mastery or the previously used basal reading program. Each class consisted of 25 second grade students who were randomly assigned to the classrooms. At the conclusion of grade 2, the students were administered the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, Form S, Level C.
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:The Reading Instruction Journal, 29, pp. 2-5
Other Tags:Direct Instruction, Reading Mastery, DISTAR Language, Mathematics Modules, Corrective Mathematics, Corrective Reading, Expressive Writing, Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, Form S, Level C, Vocabulary, Sentence Comprehension, Passage Comprehension, Total Reading
Affiliation:Glassboro State College
Design Type:Posttest only control group design with random assignment
Fidelity Data Reported:Yes
Location/Setting:Urban school, southern New Jersey
Participants:
Results:Results indicated that the only significant difference between the two groups was on the vocabulary subtest scores with students in the Reading Mastery group scoring significantly higher than students in the control group. On average, the Reading Mastery group scored at or above the national average on each measurement of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills while the control group scored below the national average. Additionally, the authors concluded that Reading Mastery was clearly superior in developing vocabulary skills.
Students Included:African American students, Hispanic students, second grade students, elementary school students
8 of 98
"Four Preschool Programs: Their Dimensions and Effects"
Author(s):Miller, L. B., & Dyer, J. L.
Year:1975
Abstract:This study compared the effect of four preschool programs (Montessori, Traditional, Bereiter-Engelmann/DISTAR, Early Intervention Program) on students’ cognitive, social, motivational, and perceptual development through the second grade. Children were randomly assigned to one of the four programs. A group of students who did not receive preschool instruction was also included to serve as the control group. Preschool students were administered the Stanford Binet IQ test in the fall and spring. In the first grade, students were administered the Metropolitan Readiness Test (MRT) at the beginning of the year. The California Achievement Test (CAT) was administered to the students in the first and second grade. Results indicated that preschool IQ did not predict first grade achievement as well as prekindergarten achievement predicted first grade IQ. Second grade IQ and achievement results indicated that male Montessori students demonstrated the greatest achievement, but these superior scores were not represented in preschool achievement scores. Similarly, students in the DISTAR program recorded the highest scores on IQ and achievement, but their achievement in comparison to the other groups of students declined over the following three years.
Description of the Study:This study compared the effect of four preschool programs (Montessori, Traditional, Bereiter-Engelmann/DISTAR, Early Intervention Program) on students’ cognitive, social, motivational, and perceptual development through the second grade. Children were randomly assigned to one of the four programs. A group of students who did not receive preschool instruction was also included to serve as the control group. Preschool students were administered the Stanford Binet IQ test in the fall and spring. In the first grade, students were administered the Metropolitan Readiness Test (MRT) at the beginning of the year. The California Achievement Test (CAT) was administered to the students in the first and second grade.
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 40(5/6), 1-170
Other Tags:Math, reading, language, IQ, Montessori, DISTAR, Early Intervention Program, Stanford Binet, Metropolitan Readiness Test (MRT), California Achievement Test (CAT)
Affiliation:University of Louisville
Design Type:Pretest Posttest Control Group with Random Assignment Design
Fidelity Data Reported:Yes
Location/Setting:Metropolitan area, urban area, Louisville, Kentucky, preschool, elementary school
Participants:Preschool students, kindergarten students, elementary students, at-risk students, disadvantaged students
Results:Results indicated that preschool IQ did not predict first grade achievement as well as prekindergarten achievement predicted first grade IQ. Second grade IQ and achievement results indicated that male Montessori students demonstrated the greatest achievement, but these superior scores were not represented in preschool achievement scores. Similarly, students in the DISTAR program recorded the highest scores on IQ and achievement, but their achievement in comparison to the other groups of students declined over the following three years.
Students Included:Preschool students, kindergarten students, elementary students, at-risk students, disadvantaged students
9 of 98
"Improving Elementary Level Mathematics Achievement in a Large Urban District: The Effects of NIFDI-Supported Implementation of Direct Instruction in the Baltimore City Public School System"
Author(s):Stockard, J.
Year:2008
Abstract:In response to very low achievement scores, the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) implemented curricular reforms in the late 1990’s. Under the guidance of the National Institute for Direct Instruction the district implemented Direct Instruction in 11 schools as part of a whole school reform. Initially reading curriculum was implemented and then within the next two years the Direct Instruction mathematics programs DISTAR Arithmetic and Connecting Math Concepts was added. All first and fifth grade students in BCPSS were administered the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) beginning in the spring of the 1997-1998 school year and concluding in the 2002-2003 school year. Data was retrieved from over 40,000 first grade students on mathematics achievement in computations, concepts and applications, and a composite score. This study compares students’ mathematics achievement in schools that implemented Direct Instruction (DI schools), and schools without Direct Instruction (Control schools). Results showed that first grade students in schools with Direct Instruction had significantly higher mathematics achievement than students in the control schools. The positive effects of Direct Instruction increased over time as the curricular changes became institutionalized within the schools. First grade students in both schools recorded higher levels of achievement in 2003 than 1998, but the increase was significantly larger for students in the NIFDI-supported Direct Instruction schools. On average the first grade composite mathematics achievement scores in the Direct Instruction schools increased by 135 percent from 1998 to 2003, but by only 54 percent in the control schools.
Description of the Study:
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:National Institute for Direct Instruction Technical Report 2008-3
Other Tags:Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS), Direct Instruction, DISTAR Arithmetic, Connecting Math Concepts, Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS)
Affiliation:
Design Type:Longitudinal study
Fidelity Data Reported:No
Location/Setting:Baltimore, public elementary school
Participants:
Results:
Students Included:Low income students, first grade students, fifth grade students, African American students, Caucasian students, Native American students, Asian students
10 of 98
"A private DI pre-school reports findings"
Author(s):Sandison, B., & Sandison, V.
Year:1984
Abstract:This study examined the effect of DISTAR Language, Reading, and Arithmetic programs on the academic achievement of 18 preschool and kindergarten students. Students were divided into groups based on their performance on the DISTAR Language Placement Test. The Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery, Preschool Scale was administered to all students for pre- and posttest measures. Results indicate significant gains for preschool and kindergarten students in percentile rank and standard scores over ten months of instruction. Preschool students demonstrated gains from the 61st to the 92nd percentile and kindergarten students demonstrated gains from the 53rd to the 92nd percentile. Over the course of the intervention preschool and kindergarten students demonstrated average gains of 22 and 20 months Age score, respectively.
Description of the Study:This study examined the effect of DISTAR Language, Reading, and Arithmetic programs on the academic achievement of 18 preschool and kindergarten students. Students were divided into groups based on their performance on the DISTAR Language Placement Test. The Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery, Preschool Scale was administered to all students for pre- and posttest measures.
Article Type:Efficacy study
Journal/Source:DI News, 4(1), 4
Other Tags:DISTAR Language, DISTAR Reading, DISTAR Arithmetic, math, Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Preschool Scale
Affiliation:N/A
Design Type:Pretest posttest gain scores
Fidelity Data Reported:No
Location/Setting:West, Orange, California, preschool, kindergarten, private school
Participants:
Results:Results indicate significant gains for preschool and kindergarten students in percentile rank and standard scores over ten months of instruction. Preschool students demonstrated gains from the 61st to the 92nd percentile and kindergarten students demonstrated gains from the 53rd to the 92nd percentile. Over the course of the intervention preschool and kindergarten students demonstrated average gains of 22 and 20 months Age score, respectively.
Students Included:Preschool students, kindergarten students, Caucasian students, Pilipino students, general education students