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Effectiveness of a Direct Instruction academic kindergarten for low-income students

Gersten, R.; Darch, C.; Gleason, M.
This article examined the effectiveness of Direct Instruction (DI) in preparing at-risk kindergarten students for their future academic achievement. Two studies were reviewed to investigate the short- and long-term effects of DI kindergartens on student achievement. The first study examined the short-term effects of DI with at-risk students who received instruction with DI in kindergarten through 3rd grade in comparison to demographically similar students who were instructed with DI in grades one to three. The second study compared the academic achievement of the same two cohorts of students in the ninth grade. Results from the first study indicated that students who received instruction with DI in kindergarten outperformed the control group in reading, language, and math achievement. Results of the second study indicated the benefits of DI in kindergarten were still apparent six years after the completion of the program. Student in both cohorts outperformed similar students in both the short- and long-term, but the greatest achievement was by students who received DI in kindergarten. Additionally, results indicated that students who received DI in kindergarten had a lower dropout rate and a higher proportion of students attending college than students who only received DI in grades one to three. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Reading Mastery; DISTAR; reading; math; language; Project Follow Through; Metropolitan Achievement Test; California Achievement Test
The Elementary School Journal
Design type:
Pretest Posttest Control Group Design, longitudinal design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Low-income students, at-risk students, kindergarten students, African American students
Other tags:
DISTAR, Reading Mastery, reading, math, language, Project Follow Through, Metropolitan Achievement Test, California Achievement Test
Midwest: West North Central, East St. Louis, Illinois, elementary school, high school

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