Direct Instruction is a more traditional instructional model that offers efficiency in a highly organized structure. Direct instruction lessons are developed with the “Big Idea” in mind so that all types of learners are addressed at the same time. There are 3 components of Direct Instruction:
1) Program Design
2) Organization of Instruction
3) Student- teacher Interaction
In comparing and contrasting direct instruction with differentiated instruction, the program design of the direct model consists of 5 elements that generalize strategies for a wide range of learners. Differentiated instruction is a model that does not generalize. In fact, differentiated instruction is a model that allows for student differences to be focused on individually or in small similar groups. The instruction of differentiated instruction is specific to student readiness, interest and learning types where as in direct instruction, instruction is directed to the whole group. When looking at the 4Mat model in comparison and in contrasting perspectives, the 4Mat model also looks at multiple learning styles like differentiated instruction. The difference is that the 4Mat model is based on 4 types of learners instead of all types of learners which differentiated instruction addresses. Essentially, the program design of the direct model is different in that it is designed to address a whole group instead of multiple groups or individuals.
When looking at the organization of instruction between the 3 models of instruction. Again, the direct model is highly organized and is made up of 4 specific elements. The instructional organization of the direct model states that students can be divided into multiple groups where each group receives the same precise and specific instruction on the “Big Idea”. The difference is that in differentiated instruction and in 4Mat instruction the groups are instructed based on the characteristics of each group. The groups would be organized by the unique learning styles in differentiated and 4Mat instruction.
All of the models require teacher-student interaction. However, the Direct Model requires less interaction than the differentiated and the 4Mat models of instruction since the direct model is designed to address the whole class as a group therefore there is less individualized instruction. The Instruction of the differentiated and 4Mat models actually is more individualized than the direct model since multiple learning styles are addressed in these models.