Direct Instruction in Good to Great schools

This is the hub of the site and the place to post queries, start discussions and join in the conversation!
Yvonne Meyer
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:08 am

Direct Instruction in Good to Great schools

Postby Yvonne Meyer » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:59 am

Quote below from John Hattie’s University of Melbourne lecture which I think is worth noting.

“... For example, Noel Pearson’s “Good to Great” schools have made appreciable differences to the learning lives of Aboriginal students.

This year, Coen and Hope Vale have recorded the highest attendance of remote-based indigenous Queensland schools.

I analysed the data from 122 of his students. Learning growth effect-sizes were calculated for all students where they completed a NAPLAN test over two occasions (Year 3 and 5, or Year 5 and 7). The average effect-sizes are all substantial. For Years 3-5, there has been greater than the Australian average growth: 181% greater in Reading, 98% greater in Writing, and 181% greater in Numeracy.

This is the good news; the program is truly making a difference; but the sobering news is that the students have to make 3+ years growth in a year to catch up. There is more to do, but the nay-sayers want to destroy an evidence based program because it has not performed magic."

Dean's Lecture Series 2016

Shifting away from distractions to improve Australia's schools
Presented by Laureate Professor John Hattie ... al-lecture
Dick Schutz

Re: Direct Instruction in Good to Great schools

Postby Dick Schutz » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:56 pm

The thing is, the quest to "catch up" by "making 3+ years growth in a year" is not in the statistical cards. Moreover, a focus on "gains" and "power effects" overlooks variability in performance and weaknesses in programs that could be eliminated.

Administration of an Alphabetic Code Screening Check, that we've been told Au is going to do, will pinpoint students who need further formal instruction in reading, irrespective of their "growth."

This lecture argues for the need to invest in teacher education, and the expertise of teachers and school leaders.
Was that the thrust of the lecture, Yvonne?
Yvonne Meyer
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:08 am

Re: Direct Instruction in Good to Great schools

Postby Yvonne Meyer » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 pm

HI Dick,

I'm not sure I understand your point.

To clarify, Australian Indigenous students in remote communities like Cape York are our most disadvantaged. They struggle with multiple issues like family dysfunction, poor health care and nutrition, truancy, non-English speaking and so on. Over the last few decades, many attempts have been made to improve schooling outcomes for these children. They have all failed despite large amounts of money being thrown at the problem. The Direct Instruction program in Coen and Hope Vale are the only programs that are showing improvement.

Noel Pearson has said on many occasions that the students in his community start school so far behind mainstream students the they have to make 3 years progress in 1 to catch up. In the past, these students made zero to little progress. DI is getting progress but is not a 'miracle cure'. Even with the effectiveness of DI, these students are still struggling compared to the mainstream.

DI is not the only reason that these schools are getting things right. They have undertaken a holistic approach that they call the 5 'C's' - Childhood, Class, Club, Culture, Community. For more information, see; ... culum.aspx

The 5 C's approach has made a massive improvement in truancy with 100% attendance for the first time ever in some classes.

DI in Cape York is the target of massive attack from multiple sources. Of course, the people responsible for the ineffective past programs attack DI at every opportunity. But also, Noel Pearson is a 'crash through' personality-type who has taken control of an area the size of France, and has made many enemies along the way. Many who resent Noel Pearson personally are attacking DI as a way of getting at him.

As for John Hattie, he is for evidence-based teacher education. He also was a friend of Marie Clay and he supports Reading Recovery. :?

Dick Schutz

Re: Direct Instruction in Good to Great schools

Postby Dick Schutz » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:53 pm

My point wasn't to attack Noel Pearson, John Hattie, the Cape York project, or "DI." It was only to point out that the focus on "gains in years," "catching up" and "effect size" obscures the fact that "DI" is not teaching (many?) children how to read. Administration of an Alphabetic Code [Phonics] Check will address the matter.

Pearson, Hattie, the Project, and DI are all mixed bags. I think I likely share your take on the "mix" of each bag, but that's outside the bounds of IFERI.

Return to “General Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests