Direct Instruction
Direct instruction, or objectivism, is based on three learning theories:
1) Behavioral: emphasizes that learned behavior is shaped by contingencies of reinforcement; learning is inferred from behavior
2) Information-processing:brain contains three kinds of memory to process information
a)sensory registers receive information
b) information lost or passed to short term memory
c) lost after 5-20 seconds or passed to long term memory (LTM)
New information remembered when it is linked to prior knowledge.
3) Cognitive-behavioral:optimal "conditions of learning"-learning hierarchies and events of instruction
4) Systems approach: uses instructional task analysis to identify hierarchy subskills and required learning conditions
Lessons that use the direct instruction method have clearly defined objectives and set sequences. Technology products used are drills, tutorials and integrated learning systems.

Instructional Principle
When teachers explain exactly what students are expected to learn, and demonstrate the steps needed to accomplish a particular academic task, students learn more.
Direct instruction rejects (or at least sets aside) the assumption that students will spontaneously develop insights on their own. Rather, direct instruction takes learners through the steps of learning systematically, helping them see both the purpose and the result of each step.
The basic components of direct instruction are:
1. Setting clear goals for students and making sure they understand these goals.
2. Presenting a sequence of well-organized assignments.
3. Giving students clear, concise explanations and illustrations of the subject matter.
4. Asking frequent questions to see if the students understand the work.
5. Giving students frequent opportunities to practice what they have learned.

Disadvantages/Advantages
Disadvantages of direct instruction:
1) Based on the old learning theories that you must learn simple tasks before complex and that only measurable learning is worthwhile.
2) Students may not have an overall sense of the purpose of the simple steps.
3) Teachers do not assess prior knowledge so it may not be clear why some students do not learn.
4) Retention of solution is low since students have not worked the problem themselves.

Advantages of direct instruction:
1) Teacher has control of the timing of the lesson.
2) Students are physically easy to monitor.
3) Teacher has control over what will be learned.
4) Curriculum can be covered.
5) Some material should be taught this way. Information that has only one right answer and a simple answer.

Direct Instruction can work well for basic, elementary learning skills. Siegfried Engelmann, who has developed a formal teaching strategy based on direct instruction (referred to as DI), has stated that teachers must be prepared to give up autonomy and creativity if they are going to use this method. Students also have limited autonomy and creativity.
Sources:
Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A.H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (5th ed) Allyn & Bacon: New York
http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/cai/Cai3/cai3direct.htm
http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/mcvittiej/methods/direct.html
Other information:
http://www.humboldt.edu/~tha1/hunter-eei.html Madeline Hunter Direct Instruction lesson plan with descriptions
http://webhost.bridgew.edu/rmacmillan/linksp~direct.htm Comprehensive direct instruction site with explanations and suggested materials