kitchen table math, the sequel: Zig

Monday, February 4, 2013


from Michael Maloney's book Teach Your Children Well:
Direct Instruction was originally created by Zig Engelmann and his colleagues including Elaine Bruner, Jean Osborne and Carl Bereiter at the University of Illinois in the 1960s. It began as a series of programs for culturally disadvantaged children in a preschool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In 1973, Wes Becker convinced Engelmann to relocate to the University of Oregon and become a member of its faculty. They were soon joined by Doug Carnine, who quickly became Engelmann's close associate, co-author and research partner. Direct Instruction became the preferred educational technology of the Department of Special Education at the University of Oregon It was expanded into a set of programs that became the dominant model in the Follow Through project in the seventies.

Zig Engelmann has a bachelor's degree. He never got a Ph.D., nor has he ever attempted to do so; yet he is a full professor at the University of Oregon who continually refuses tenure.

It seems that Engelmann was working for a marketing company in Illinois, doing a project to promote some publisher's reading materials. When he visited a classroom and saw how poorly them materials taught the children, he decided to write a reading program himself. He literally sat down and wrote his first teaching sequences, outlined a program and took it to Carl Bereiter at the University of Illinois.

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