Even though research on Direct Instruction has been available for nearly 50 years, more continues to appear. Current research examines both the effectiveness of Direct Instruction programs and the most effective ways to deliver them.
The recent studies confirm the findings of earlier decades. Efficacy studies continue to find that students in Direct Instruction have higher achievement scores than those using other programs. These results occur with students in general education and those in special education. They occur when comparisons are made to basal texts or to “constructivist” approaches. They occur with preschoolers through adults. They occur with students from many different communities and demographic backgrounds.
Recent work also continues to examine how teachers and schools can be most effective in their use of Direct Instruction programs. The research confirms the importance of following NIFDI guidelines in implementation. The research also highlights the importance of having strong training and coaching programs for teachers and supportive administrative structures.
Because there is such a large amount of research literature on Direct Instruction, a number of researchers have systematically summarized the findings. These summaries have included both extensive reviews of the literature and statistical meta-analyses. Again, these summaries consistently find strong evidence of Direct Instruction’s effectiveness.