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Fellowship Opportunities

NIFDI is pleased to announce the opening of a competition for fellowships to support research on Direct Instruction and promote the development of emerging scholars in the field of education. Multiple fellowships will be awarded. Applications are accepted on an on-going basis. Please email NIFDI at for more information.

WHO SHOULD APPLY:  NIFDI Research Fellowships are open to masters and doctoral students, as well as postdoctoral scholars.

AWARDS:  Masters and Doctoral: $5,000 to $10,000; Postdoctoral: $8,000 to $12,000

Instructions and Evaluation Letter: icon Research Fellowship Application Packet (906.32 kB)

Application Form: icon Fellowship Application Form (95.63 kB)

Engelmann Family and NIFDI Receive Award for Leadership in Education

Oct. 14, 2011

IDEA Public Schools congratulates the Engelmann Family and the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI) for their commitment to excellence in training and execution of IDEA’s new core curriculum, Better IDEA, powered by Direct Instruction (DI).

The “Award for Leadership in Education” is IDEA’s most prestigious award for sustained commitment to academic excellence. In granting the award, IDEA recognized the Engelmann Family and NIDFI for its support in providing high-level and ongoing support in implementing the DI model.

“The Engelmann family and NIFDI have helped create an ecosystem at IDEA that ensures all students succeed and achieve," says Tom Torkelson, Founder and CEO of IDEA Public Schools.

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Helping Kids Soar: Children Reaching Their Full Potential with Direct Instruction


Direct Instruction (DI) is often used to help students who are struggling academically. DI can be used to accelerate the learning of higher performing students, too. This 16-minute video, "Helping Kids Soar: Children Reaching Their Full Potential with Direct Instruction," portrays two schools in different parts of the country that have used DI successfully with all children, including high performing students: Emerson Elementary in Alliance, NE and Ficket Elementary in Atlanta, GA.

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Closing the Performance Gap: The Gering Story


Gering Public Schools, a small district in northeast Nebraska, used to suffer from an achievement gap in reading.  In 2004, 36 percent of all Hispanic students in second grade met fluency benchmarks compared to 59 percent of all white students in the district's three elementary schools.  Low literacy performance was also a problem at the district's sole junior high school.

That was before the district implemented the comprehensive Direct Instruction model with the support of the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI).  Now the achievement gap in reading has been closed.  Over three-fourths of all students meet second grade fluency benchmarks, with a higher percentage of Hispanic students meeting benchmarks than white students!  At the junior high school, the need for remedial reading programs has declined drastically as students are much more able to comprehend content area texts.

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