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A comparison of the effects of Direct Instruction in reasoning with constructivism on deductive reasoning

Grossen, B.; Lee, C.; Johnston, D.
This study compared the effect of Direct Instruction (DI) and constructivist programs on the deductive reasoning skills of middle and high school students in a rural area. One hundred and twelve students (grades 7-12) participated in this study. Sixty four of the students were matched in pairs based on pretest measures and randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups (DI, constructivist). A control group of 23 students was included and received no supplemental instruction in reasoning. Students in the DI group received instruction with the Direct Instruction Authoring Language (DIAL) Logic computer program. Students in the constructivist group received instruction with the computer programs MisterMind and Minesweeper. The New Jersey Test of Reasoning and the Syllogistic Reasoning Test were administered for pre- and posttest measures. Results from the New Jersey Test of Reasoning and the Syllogistic Reasoning Test indicated that students in the DI group significantly outperformed students in the constructivist and control groups. No significant differences were identified between the posttest scores of students in the constructivist and control groups. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Direct Instruction Authoring Language logic program; constructivism; deductive reasoning; mastery learning; corrective feedback; New Jersey Test of Reasoning
Oregon Monograph
Design type:
Pretest posttest control group design with matched comparison
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Secondary students, special education students, at-risk students
Rural area, high school
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