News from NIFDI

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In February, UK-based Teacher Talk Radio hosted the podcast Direct Instruction Beyond Rosenshine. The 90-minute show featured Terri Leighton, Principal at Dixons-Manningham Primary in the United Kingdom, NIFDI President Kurt Engelmann, NIFDI Outreach Director Bryan Wickman, and Suzy Wybrow, NIFDI UK Outreach Specialist. Engelmann and Wickman gave an overview and brief history of DI, and Terri and Suzy talked about their experience with the programs.

Terri said how her school has nearly all students reading at or above grade level and has gone from 5 classes of Corrective Reading down to 1 due to the strong foundation students receive in their earlier years. Click here to listen to the podcast.

A second podcast focusing on DI was featured in an episode of Progressively Incorrect. Marcy Stein is a veteran DI researcher, author, and teacher educator. She is a retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Washington, Tacoma. The podcast, titled Engelmann’s Direct Instruction and Project Follow Through, is an interesting 60-minute exploration of the success of the DI Model in Project Follow Through and the failure of the US Department of Education to disseminate the results of the largest education experiment in history. The information is particularly relevant in light of the current interest in the science of reading. Click here to listen to the podcast.

The Engelmann Foundation, created in 1997, recently announced they are changing their submission deadlines. The new submission dates are 5pm PDT April 1st and October 1stThe Foundation is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Siegfried "Zig" Engelmann, creator of DI and senior author of the DI programs, through the support, promotion, and development of educators around the world implementing Direct Instruction with their students. Over the years, the foundation has distributed 112 grants totaling over $700,000.

The Engelmann Foundation offers two grant opportunities: Conference Grants and General Grants. Conference Grants are tailored to provide funds to attend the annual National Direct Instruction Conference hosted by the National Institute for Direct Instruction in Eugene, Oregon, each July. General Grants are designed to support projects, training and development, implementation, and other similar endeavors that utilize Direct Instruction (DI) programs.

This month reporter Emily Hanford hosted and produced a 6-part podcast, Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong, which focuses on the development and dissemination of the 3-cueing system of reading instruction and its consequences. The American Public Media website describes the series as “...an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn't true and are now reckoning with the consequences — children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.” We are encouraged that Direct Instruction got a brief mention in episode 3. It is also encouraging that Hanford includes the newly revised Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons on her list of additional readings on the Science of Reading.

This podcast is an example of how the discussion about best practices for teaching beginning reading are gaining momentum. We hope to see more in the future!

Zig Nov22NewsNovember 26, 2022, marked the 92nd anniversary of Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann’s birth. Zig was the creator of Direct Instruction (DI), beginning with his work in education in 1965. Zig devoted most of his life to bettering the lives of children by applying his theory of instruction to a set of instructional programs that are unparalleled in their efficacy with all learners, particularly learners at risk for failure. Prior to his passing in 2019, he had written over 100 instructional programs, 30 books, and hundreds of articles and papers.

NIFDI was founded by Zig to work with schools worldwide to implement Direct Instruction with a high level of fidelity. We are proud to continue his legacy of helping all students realize their highest potential with DI.

Our links to our favorite videos featuring Zig can be found by clicking here.

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