One of the most important steps a school that is starting to implement DI can take is to contact school leaders who have been successful with DI. Through this contact, new DI practitioners can learn from the experiences of veteran DI practitioners to ensure that their students are also successful with DI. Over the course of 25 years, NIFDI has had the privilege of partnering with schools across the US and in other countries. (Click here for success stories of NIFDI partners.) This month we are featuring two interviews (lasting about 10 minutes) with instructional leaders from the United Kingdom. They share their experiences working with NIFDI and how it has affected the instructional practices of educators they supervise and, in turn, the performance of the students they teach.
In the first video, Nazam Hussain, School Psychologist in Bradford, United Kingdom, describes the implementation of Language for Learning and Reading Mastery in 2 Primary Schools. NIFDI began working in Bradford when Nazam attended the National Direct Instruction Conference in 2019. He was interested in improving the professional development opportunities for teachers beyond what he describes as “one-off presentations that have no effect.” He further describes how NIFDI support is the polar opposite of that type of training. “The thoroughness and robustness of the training was rigorous and professional but sensitive to the individual. The schools like the support, and they are seeing the results.”
The second featured interview is with Robin Shakespeare, Director of Education, Midland Academies Trust based in Nuneaton, United Kingdom. NIFDI began partnering with the Midlands Academy Trust and the UK Direct Instruction Hub in 2018. The Education Endowment Fund was calling for research on improving math skills in students in their secondary schools (US equivalent to 7th-9th grade). The staff had been using DI for several years but had not received formal training. Once we began working together, the Midlands leadership quickly realized the benefits of the NIFDI partnership. As Robin describes, “When you work with NIFDI, you work with a group of people who are professional, passionate and challenging–in the best sense of the word.” To describe the impact of NIFDI support, Robin says, “I would use the word transformational to characterize our relationship with NIFDI.”
Click here to view these short, 10 minute stories.