Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rise of Direct Instruction

Reality is above all else a variable, and nobody is qualified to say that he or she knows what it is. As a matter of fact, with a firm enough commitment, you can sometimes create a reality which did not exist before.
-Margaret Halsey

"Many of today's state-run pre-K programs rely more on direct instruction. They instruct and drill kids on math, vocabulary and literacy skills rather than letting children learn these skills through play and other self-directed activities." This is the conclusion of Melinda Wenner Moyer, in her article "What Science Says about How to Get Preschool Right" in Scientific American Mind.

"There are many potential reasons for this curriculum shift. First, state run programs are usually formally connected to the public school system, so they tend to adapt the same teaching strategies. Second, preschool teachers may not have the time or resources to devote to creative curriculum development, so they rely on ‘curriculum kits’ that often lead to scripted, teacher-led instruction…

"Finally, because children who enroll in state-run programs are at high risk for future academic problems, administrators and teachers may feel they have to provide more formal instruction to give them an edge – even if this approach is not supported by science."