Spelling is often taught by rote memoriza-tion of whole words resulting in little or nogeneralization. However, wide generaliza-tions are possible. Teaching the skill of detecting individual sounds in a spoken wordand matching sounds to written letters is a very efficient beginning point. In addition, if students learn to spell the parts of wordscalled
(prefixes, base words,and suffixes) and rules for combining them,they can correctly spell many new words thatthey have never encountered. Table 2.1shows seven morphographs and some of thewords that can be correctly spelled by usingrules to combine them. The DirectInstruction program,
teaches750 morphographs that can be combined toform over 12,000 words. (This program isdescribed in detail in Chapter 6.)These examples from reading and spellingillustrate the goal and importance of contentanalysis to Direct Instruction. DirectInstruction is about teaching strategies thatenable students to go beyond the particularitems that are taught and to apply their learn-ing to new items or situations. A common and persistent misunderstanding isthat Direct Instruction teaches students tomemorize simple responses to specific stimuli,commonly referred to as
In reality,Direct Instruction programs enable studentsto learn more in less time for the very reasonthat they are
learning isolated, unrelatedbits of information by rote, but are learningstrategies that can be broadly applied acrossnumerous examples, problems, and situations.This mistaken notion that Direct Instructionis a rote learning approach not only reflects afundamental misunderstanding of theapproach but also fails to recognize that so-called higher order thinking depends on themastery of more basic skills and involves theintegration of concepts, rules, and strategies. Virtually all Direct Instruction programs con-cern higher order thinking skills: classifying,learning rules, making inferences, testinggeneralizations, analyzing arguments, andsolving problems. Carnine and Kameenui(1992) have described how the principles of design have been applied to teach sophisti-cated problem-solving skills to a variety of learners and across various domains. As the
Journal of Direct Instruction
Seven Morphographs and Some of the Words Derived From Them
recover, recoverable, recovered, unrecoverable, unrecovered, repute, reputable, reputed,disreputable, disrepute, coverable, covered, uncover, uncoverable, uncovered, discover,discoverable, discovered, undiscoverable, undiscovered, dispute, disputable, disputed,undisputable, undisputed, etc.