Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Presentation notes for EDE 290



Group members:

Nathan Powell
Paul Corner
Lee Elliott
James Walton

* “As it’s simplest form, direct teaching can be defined as teaching in which the teacher is telling pupils or showing them what he or she wants them to know or be able to do,” (Chris Kyriacou, 1991).

* ‘How does direct teaching differentiate from other approaches?’.........(brainstorm)

* Knowledge is simply a matter of facts and figures, understanding refers to a meaningful interrelationship between items of knowledge. Skills refers to pupils performance in carrying out certain tasks, while attitudes concern a pupils positive attitude towards a task and indeed towards themselves.

* The distinction between knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes, determines the structure of a particular lesson/activity/course.

* Having defined these four terms, teachers can refer to what extent learning activities can bring about desired outcomes, whilst employing these four terms.

* Usually schools adopt a system where all four terms are involved as a mixture.

* Judging effective teaching is determined by four key questions:

· What learning outcomes were intended?
· Were the learning outcomes appropriate for meeting the pupil’s needs in the context of the aims of the particular programme of study?
· What learning activities were used by the teacher?
· Did these activities successfully bring about the intended learning outcomes?

* A lesson based on direct teaching approach will be based on the following key points (process-product stages):

· Provide pupils with clear and explicit goals,
· Demonstrate/describe/show/tell briefly and clearly,
· Provide lots of pupil practice with feedback,
· Provide for the diversity of pupil attainment,
· Provide longer-term review.



An example of how the four terms are put into practice can be provided using a topic of ‘Capitals of the World’, where there is a number of desired learning outcomes.

The teacher may want pupils to know what the names of the Capitals of the World are (knowledge).

To understand the why there are Capitals (understanding).

To be able to identify and test whether a given name is a name of a Capital of the World (skills);

and to do all this in a way that helps develop pupil’s positive attitude towards Geography as a subject and towards themselves as learners (attitudes).

(edited by Nathan Powell)


· Practice makes perfect or practice plus feedback?
· Intervention should be active
· Active intervention enables problems to be identified at an early stage
· Activities which enable pupils to practice what they have already learnt is effective
· Within direct teaching there are 3 things that a teacher can do which help learning and later recall

1. Make new learning meaningful and relate it to previous understanding
2. Make sure learning is ‘well learnt’ by using different activities where that learning is relevant
3. Teach children simple tricks in order to recall and perform

· Direct instruction requires a review session or something similar


· Teacher is a role model - provides a model for the type of thinking and behavior that pupils are required to follow
· Many teachers may take for granted that pupils possess study skills necessary to undertake academic tasks set
· More time is dedicated to teaching learning skills not knowledge e.g. exam revision techniques
· Teachers do not have to convey an air of perfection
· Teachers should convey interest and enthusiasm for the subject
· Being a model can be enhanced by the surroundings
· Direct instruction helps pupils gain a clear understanding of what is required


· Name a profession in which a person asks a question to which he/she already knows the answer
· Question asking is a key skill of teaching
· Research indicates that most questions asked in a classroom are closed and low-order
· Morgan and Saxton (1991) believe that more open-ended and higher-order questioning should be used
· Questions asked much match the level of pupil understanding
· Teachers should present learning activities which cater for different levels of ability between pupils in the same class
· Positive reinforcement - support, praise and encouragement
· Distribute questions evenly around the classroom

(edited by Lee Elliott)


Group Presentation;
Bullet Points


-The direct teaching role can occasionally be transferred into different formats
-Firstly, there are activities such as parental or peer tutoring (the parent or pupil is given the teacher’s role in tutoring a pupil in tightly confined guidelines)
-Secondly, there is the use of programme learning texts and computer software instructions
-Incorrect response involves a feedback loop with further explanation or demonstration
-The pace of the activity is under the pupils’ control with little if any other form of room for manouvre/control passed over to them within the course context
-The development of materials using a variety of industrial technology


-The vast majority of teachers use a variety of teaching methods
-Intended aims of a lesson involve a complex mix of intended learning outcomes (knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes)
-Effectiveness of teaching depends upon the lesson features and the characteristics of the pupils being taught (may interact in different ways)
-No teaching method is either teacher proof or pupil proof!
-Direct teaching is one of the most important approaches adopted by teachers
-It allows basic primary school skills to be learnt (reading, language, & maths)
-Yet, things are easier to learn if they are learnt in a context of use and when they make sense to the student or pupil
-There may be a danger that it may focus too much on the teaching of knowledge and basic skills with little reference to what makes the learning meaningful
-It tends to place the teacher’s role and authority as the provider of the learning at the centre of the lesson
-Pupils can therefore feel that what must be learnt comes directly from what the teacher is saying and doing
-There is therefore little opportunity for them to distinguish between learning and the construction of learning
-Pupils must be motivated to solve problems and have self curiosity as well as exploration
-Direct teaching is most effective when the learning outcomes are clearly identifiable and achievable through either exposition or demonstration

-Direct teaching is least effective when the learning outcomes are less tightly prescribed or more experience based


* The key phases of direct instruction are;

- to provide pupils with clear and explicit goals
- to demonstrate, describe, show and tell both briefly and clearly
- to provide a great deal of pupil practice with feedback
- to provide for the diversity of pupil attainment
- to provide a longer term review

* If teaching, you should draw up a checklist of when to use direct teaching and the requirements of good direct teaching
* Evaluate your performance, as well as the pupils’ experience and learning
* Discuss with other teachers the provisions for diversity, pupil practice and feedback.

(edited by James Walton)



Whilst there is a host of important psychological features involved in teaching and learning, there are 3 main features which need highlighting in the context of direct teaching.

* Learning Objectives.
* Cognitive Matching.
* Academic Learning Time.

Clear specification of learning objectives.

At its most sophisticated, direct teaching is based upon a careful matching- of matching direct teaching to a consideration of specific learning objectives.

* To some extent the national curriculum is an example of an attempt to make clear such learning outcomes by specific attainment targets, at specific levels.


Refers to the teacher being able to judge what is the optimal level of further learning that can be achieved and then organising the learning activity to achieve this.

* “Scaffolding” - is a technique of Cognitive Matching (the way a teacher supports and shapes the child’s development of understanding through appropriately prompting and directing attention to the key features of the learning activity.


Research has shown that one of the most important variables in accounting for why some teachers are more effective than others, is that the more effective teachers are simply able to maximise the amount of time pupils are engaged in successful learning activities.

Such techniques , to achieve this include:

* Clarity of teachers instructions and explanations,
* Emphasis on engagement in academic tasks,
* Active involvement by the teacher in learning activities,
* Highly structured lessons.


Today, the variety of teaching methods used by teachers is much greater than it has been in the past.
Despite this direct teaching methods continue to be the most important and widespread approach adopted by teachers.

Five main Direct teaching methods can be identified:

1 Informing, describing and explaining.
2 Demonstrating, modelling and coaching.
3 Asking questions.
4 Monitoring practice and active intervention.
5 Direct teaching by proxy.


Studies which have explored teachers and pupils views about good teaching report the characteristic “The teacher is able to explain clearly” amongst those highly rated.

Teaching exposition has 2 main categories;

1 Exposition that transmits the topic itself,
2 Exposition that alerts pupils to important features of the topic, which they need to be aware of if learning is to proceed effectively.

Research on teachers explaining has highlighted a number of features that increase its effectiveness:

1 Clarity: is the most important as an explanation needs to be clear for it to be understood.
2 Structure: the explanation is carefully structured so that the major concepts are broken down into meaningful segments, and these are then sequenced together logically.
3 Length: Expositions need to be brief (approx. 20 mins.) as pupils will find it hard to maintain attention for longer period unless the exposition is interspersed with questions and activities.
4 Maintaining Attention: delivery should involve variation in emphasis, (tone and pitch) eye contact with pupils should be maintained and spread around the classroom, and body language should convey interest and enthusiasm.
5 Language: which avoids the use of overcomplex language or unfamiliar terms.
6 Use of examples: by using, analogies and metaphors, particularly from everyday life or ones that relate to the pupils experience and interests.
7 Checking pupils understanding: by asking questions to check on their understanding of the topic (if they look puzzled).

(Edited by Paul Corner)

This web-page has been constructed in reference to our EDE 290 Presenation on the 25th of March 1998.

Sunderland University Home-Page

Nathan's Home-Page

Lee's Home-Page