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What is direct instruction? What about indirect instruction? When do each of these styles of teaching come in handy? If you are curious about these questions, take a look at the following lesson to get the scoop.

Two Styles of Instruction

Teaching is hard work; no teacher will ever deny this. One of the biggest challenges of teaching is deciding your approach to the material. One way to divide teaching styles is to separate them into direct instruction and indirect instruction.

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In this lesson, we’ll take a look at each one and follow how two different teachers incorporate them in their classrooms.

What Is Direct Instruction?

With direct instruction, a teacher usually gives information in a very explicit manner. Direct instruction is usually started with the teacher telling the students what the expectations are for their performance. For example, Mr. Garcia tells his students at the beginning of English class that he expects the students to be able to write their own simile by the end of the lesson.For the teaching aspect of direct instruction, a teacher may stand at the front of the class and lecture the students about a specific topic. Mr.

Garcia writes out the important information about literary devices and ask the students to copy the information into their notebooks. After the students complete this task, they may be given a worksheet or a quiz that tests their understanding of the topic.

Pros ; Cons of Direct Instruction

The benefit of direct instruction is that the goals and expectations are extremely clear. Students know what they need to do in order to perform satisfactorily. This type of lesson works well with information that needs to be broken down into smaller parts. It also works well when introducing new information. If Mr.

Garcia is giving a lesson about personification and the students have never encountered this topic, he will most likely use direct instruction to explain what personification is.The direct instruction may simply be the teacher verbally informing the students about the definition and can include notes, examples or worksheets. The downfall to direct instruction is that students may not find it engaging or interesting to passively listen to a teacher. Disinterest can affect retention, as students struggle to remember what they learned if they’re bored while learning it.

What Is Indirect Instruction?

Indirect instruction is when a teacher works more like a facilitator than an instructor.

This type of instruction relies heavily on student involvement.For example, if Ms. Nora is teaching personification she might provide her students with a sentence that contains personification. Rather than tell the students the definition or even mention the word itself, Ms. Nora might ask them what they notice about the sentence they’re looking at.

She then tries to elicit the definition from the students without telling them first. She might also encourage the students to talk in groups while making rounds to check in and assure that the groups are working toward understanding personification.

Pros ; Cons of Indirect Instruction

The benefit of indirect instruction is that students are more actively involved in the learning process. Motivated learners, as well as those who get bored easily, tend to respond well.

This type of instruction is also useful when there are patterns or new ideas that students may be curious about. Indirect instruction might not be the best choice with topics that students have no idea about or may feel completely overwhelmed with. Arguably, it might not be the best for shy students.

Lesson Summary

Direct instruction is when a teacher makes expectations perfectly clear and gives definitions or explanations usually in the form of a lecture. Direct instruction works well with very unfamiliar topics as well as with students who might not be willing to speak up in class.

The downside of this method is it may not be engaging to some students, and this can affect retention.Indirect instruction is when a teacher puts more of the responsibility of learning onto students. A teacher may ask the students to figure out a problem on their own and function as a facilitator rather than an instructor. Indirect instruction works well with students who are active and engaged or who wish to be so.

However, it may not be the best choice for topics students have no idea about or for students who are shy.

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