We're moving our offices!
Orders placed online during our move will be delayed.
We're sorry for the 

This timeline highlights many of the milestones in the history of Direct Instruction. It draws heavily from the chronology of Siegfried Engelmann’s career as printed in Engelmann’s Direct Instruction: Selected Writings from the Past Half Century


1960–1964: Siegfried Engelmann worked in different advertising agencies and began analyzing techniques for marketing to children in order to determine what type of input was necessary to induce retention.

1963: Engelmann filmed his teaching sessions with his twin sons in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of his techniques and theories of instruction to education departments in various universities.

1964–1966: Engelmann began working with Carl Bereiter as a research associate for the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

1964: Creation of the Bereiter Engelmann preschool.

1966: Give Your Child a Superior Mind is published.

1966: Teaching Disadvantaged Children in the Preschool is published. 

1968: Project Follow Through begins.

1969: First DISTAR instructional programs are released. Initially DISTAR Reading and Language.

1969: Engelmann-Becker Corp., Eugene, Oregon founded.

1969: Preventing Failure in the Primary Grades is published. 


1970: Direct Instruction Follow Through Model moves to the University of Oregon.

1970: DISTAR Arithmetic I instructional program is published.

1974: Engelmann’s first study using tactual vocoders with deaf subjects is published.

1975: Your Child Can Succeed: How to Get the Most Out of School for Your Child is published.

1975: Corrective Reading instructional program is published.

1975: First DI Conference is held, Eugene, Oregon.

1976: Spelling Through Morphographs instructional program is published.


1980: Spelling Mastery instructional program is published.

1981: Corrective Mathematics instructional program is published.

1982: Theory of Instruction is published.

1983: Generalized Compliance Training: A Direct-Instruction program for managing severe behavior problems is published.

1983: Reading Mastery instructional program is published (First revision of DISTAR Reading).

1983: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is published.

1984: Engelmann receives honorary doctorate degree from the Psychology Department of Western Michigan University.

1985: Mastering Fractions instructional program is published, the first in a series of videodisc programs.

1985: Expressive Writing instructional program is published.

1987: Understanding Chemistry and Energy instructional videodisc program is published.

1988: Earth Science instructional videodisc program is published.


1991: Reasoning & Writing instructional program is published.

1991: Engelmann sues the California State Board, Department of Education and Curriculum Commission for failure to follow administrative rules related to textbook adoptions.

1991: Theory of Instruction is revised and republished.

1992: Connecting Math Concepts instructional program is published.

1992: War Against the Schools’ Academic Child Abuse is published.

1994: Engelmann receives American Psychological Association Fred Keller Award of Excellence.

1996: Sponsor Findings from Project Follow Through is published.

1996: Research on Direct Instruction: 25 Years Beyond DISTAR is published.

1997: National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI) is founded with Engelmann as the director.

1997: Horizons Learning to Read instructional program is published.


2000: Zigsite.com is launched.

2000: Engelmann is named one of the 54 “most influential people” in the history of special education by Remedial and Special Education.

2000: Journeys Direct Instruction Reading program is published.

2001: Funnix Beginning Reading instructional program is published.

2001: Español to English (Language for Learning) instructional program is published.

2002: Engelmann receives the Council of Scientific Society Presidents 2002 Educational Research Award (Award of Achievement in Education Research).

2002: Funnix Reading 2 instructional program is published.

2003: Engelmann retired, granted Professor Emeritus of Special Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

2004: Inferred Functions of Performance and Learning is published.

2007: Teaching Needy Kids in Our Backward System: 42 Years of Trying is published.

2008: Socrates and Education: Bussing is published on zigsite.com (first in Socrates series).

2008: Reading Mastery Signature Edition program is published.


2010: Direct Instruction Spoken English (DISE) instructional program is published.

2010: Could John Stuart Mill Have Saved Our Schools? is published.

2011: Funnix Beginning Math instructional program is published.

2014: Connecting Math Concepts Comprehensive Edition is published.

Module-Bottom-Button-A rev

Module-Bottom-Button-B rev

Module-Bottom-Button-C rev2

AmazonSmileModule 01