News from NIFDI

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The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) has endorsed Direct Instruction as an effective treatment for learners diagnosed with autism. An article in the journal Science in Autism Treatment, Volume 20, Issue 1, authored by Drs. Alice Shillingsburg (University of Nebraska Medical Center) and Sarah Frampton (University of Nebraska-Omaha), includes a very detailed description of DI along with an extensive research summary. In the recommendations section, the article states, “Direct Instruction is an easy to implement, scripted program but training in implementation is still necessary to properly deploy the materials.” They go on to refer people to NIFDI for training and support. Click here to read the full article.

The National Institute for Direct Instruction is proposing a course for individuals who teach college or university teacher preparation courses on the science of reading (SOR) and Direct Instruction (DI).

DI incorporates all of the components of SOR, and it has a long and extensive track record demonstrating its effectiveness in helping all students learn to read. This course will also address options for how to coordinate coursework and fieldwork with respect to learning how to implement Direct Instruction. 

If you are a teacher preparation instructor, we invite you to click here and participate in a short, 7-question survey. 

The 49th National Direct Instruction Conference and Institutes was held in Eugene, Oregon, July 25-29. At the opening, IDEA Travis Academy was recognized as the recipient of the Wesley Becker Excellent School Award. NIFDI Implementation Manager Kris Althoff told the 250 attendees about the dramatic turnaround in student performance at Travis. Due in part to the use of DI, Travis now has most students performing at or above grade level and has been removed from the Texas Education Agency watch list.

After the Travis presentation, Doug Carnine presented keynote speaker John Wills Lloyd with the Direct Instruction Hall of Fame Award. Doug highlighted John’s longtime association with Direct Instruction. John studied under Barbara Bateman and Siegfried Engelmann in the 1970s and spent most of his career working in the area of learning disabilities. His engaging keynote compared instructional design with making biscuits. His main point was you need to know far more than just the ingredient list to come out with a quality instructional program. You need to know how much and when to add each component, and many other factors.

Click here to view the opening. Note this link will also take you to an archive of the past 13 years of conference keynotes.

RM OriginalA celebration recognizing the 40th anniversary of the release of Reading Mastery took place at the National DI Conference. In 1983, SRA (now McGraw-Hill Education) published the first major revision of DISTAR Reading Levels I-III and the new publication of Reading Mastery Levels IV-VI. With a complete 6-level series, SRA was able to submit the programs for adoption to many state departments of education. The celebration event was attended by many authors of Reading Mastery. Original program author Elaine “Cookie” Bruner and her son Dan sent a greeting to the attendees. Click here to view their informative and entertaining message.

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