The achievement and self-concept of elementary grade students who have received direct instruction

Mary Lee Barnes Merrell


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference in achievement between a group of students being taught reading, mathematics, and language using Direct Instruction and those students being taught using the traditional program. The Direct Instruction Program is defined as a model program written by Siegfried Engelmann which provides a script, correction methods, and signals. The traditional program is defined as the conventional instruction methods that have been used through the years in which all levels work together, individually, or competitively toward stated goals. The subjects of this study were from two elementary schools in the same district. Test data from the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) were compiled to compare the success of programs used. The socioeconomic status of the subjects was obtained to see if it influenced the students' achievement. The students were administered the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. The study showed that the 5-year Direct Instruction group's mean score was higher than the mean score of the comparison group for reading and language on the 1994 SAT and the 1992 SAT on reading and mathematics. Also, the mean score for the less-than-5-year Direct Instruction group was higher than that of the comparison group for reading and mathematics on the 1992 SAT and the 1994 SAT in language. The comparison group had the highest reading mean score in 1993, mathematics in 1993 and 1994, and on language in 1992 and 1993. The study found that there was a significant relationship among reading achievement, type of instruction, and self-esteem. There was a significant relationship between mathematics achievement and socioeconomic status. There was a significant difference between language achievement and type of instruction.