Bill Kerr April, 2017

From the inside out because neither the advocates or critics of Direct Instruction follow Hegel's advice:
"The genuine refutation must penetrate the opponent's stronghold and meet him on his own ground; no advantage is gained by attacking him somewhere else and defeating him where he is not"

Preamble: Aurukun violence 2016


1.1) Context: Appalling basic literacy and numeracy rates amongst indigenous Australians, especially those who live in remote regions
1.2) World view: Our perceptions of the world are caught in the web of our internal beliefs, values and conceptualisations
1.3) Hypothesis: Many can't see the value of DI because of the synergistic influence of a plethora of mind memes which act as blinkers and filters to influence their perception
1.4) Visceral Hatred From The Right And The Left: Fanaticism is on display from both sides of politics in this culture war
1.5) Meme Warfare: Memes Working Against And For Direct Instruction In An Indigenous Context
The memes (opposing and supporting Direct Instruction) are grouped under various subheadings: (1) Culture, (2) Beliefs and Social Values (3) Social Class, (4) Learning, Including Creativity, (5) Epistemic Values, (6) Politics (7) Computer Lib

2.1) Description of DI
The Direct Instruction (DI) approach is a good attempt to solve a number of practical problems that arise for teachers of severely disadvantaged students who have poor skills at reading, writing and comprehending English and Maths.
2.2) Why DI Works
evidence-based is powerful but compelling reasons are needed as well to convince humans
2.3) The Evidence
The evidence is strong. But what needs clarification is what precisely does DI achieve and what does it not achieve?
2.4) Why DI Is Reviled By Some
Kerry Hempenstall document 20 reasons why DI evokes rancour.

3.1 Is Indigenous Culture Superior To Western Culture?
Indigenous culture has a better record with regard to the environmental crisis that is perceived to be the central political issue for modern society
3.2 Indigenous Culture As A Priority
one side of the argument argues that indigenous culture is an absolute priority and must come first
3.2.1) Lewthaite Interviews
3.2.2) Richard Trudgen: Why Warriors Lie Down and Die
3.2.3) Ghil'ad Zuckerman: Linguicide
3.2.4) Identity / Alienation
3.3 Indigenous Culture As Important But Not A Priority
3.3.1) Warrior culture or equality culture?
3.3.2) Indigenous culture has a significant downside.
3.3.3) Oral culture
3.4 Actual Attempts To Implement Cultural Based School Curriculums
3.4.1) Chris Sarra's Stronger Smarter Institute
3.4.2) Tyson Yunkaporta's 8 ways
3.4.3) Barry Osborne's Culturally Responsive and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
3.5) Cultural Transformation Is A More Important Issue Than A Static Culture
3.5.1) Noel Pearson. Any real culture is layers of varying cultures
3.5.2) Michelle Moody-Adams / Amartya Sen. Cultural differences tend to be exaggerated
3.6) Inequality Is More Important Than Diversity
3.6.1 Diversity issues (race, culture, minority rights) act as a diversion from the main issue of capitalism
3.6.2 The economic base is the fundamental determinant of culture
3.7) Cultural Relativism and the Left
Furedi: How the left became conservative

Incorporates racism, rights, morality, compassion, justice, prejudice, shame, paying attention. Social values are distinguished from epistemic values – later
4.1) Moral image of the world
A moral image of the world is central and does translate into teachers determination to deliver, if they have that moral image.
4.2) Closing the Gap or changing the gap?
No one argues about the health gap but some are unsure about the educational gap.
4.2.1) The desire to be normal (The national curriculum as lodestone)
4.3) Rights and Responsibilities
The responsibility agenda rather than the rights agenda is the more pressing requirement in the current context of indigenous progress (Noel Pearson)
4.4) Compassion: How tough is tough love?
4.5) Capabilities approach
Sen / Nussbaum Capabilities approach: What is it that a person can do?
4.6) Racism: overt and covert
Bill Leak cartoon – racist or identification of a real problem

5.1 Trump cards
The fault lies with the system! Or The fault lies with the responsible individuals!
5.2 No child left behind (NCLB)
Arguments for and against
5.3 Interaction skills and No Excuses Schools (Golann)
No Excuses schools can improve academic results and yet reduce life chances through stifling interaction skills
5.4 Early intervention has the best results (Heckman)
If society intervenes early enough, it can improve cognitive and socioemotional abilities and the health of disadvantaged children
5.5 Poverty
Student achievement will not be advanced unless poverty and disadvantage are first eliminated, or, Student outcomes are more determined by educational factors than social factors
5.6 School Attendance
5.7 Jobs
5.8 Social class, Hattie and DI
social class is more important than what teachers do. Hattie then proceeds to put social class into the too hard basket and focuses on what teachers can do

Measurement is not straight forward because we have to decide what is important to measure. For one thing, this relates back to close the gap versus change the gap considerations. But even without that we will see that what to measure is a very complex question indeed. Furthermore, some things are easy to measure (think thin descriptors like NAPLAN testing), other things are harder to measure (think thick descriptors like intensive longitudinal studies) and some things don't get measured at all … (eg. the unknown unknowns). Researchers also draw conclusions, summing up their research, so some of that belongs here too.
6.1) Measurement: easy to measure / hard to measure
Respecting individuals in all their diversity is more important than measurement, or, Measurement is more important than sentiment.
6.2) Self-efficacy
Self-efficacy, how a person feels about their ability to accomplish in a given field
6.3) Learning styles
debunked by Dan Willingham
6.4) Reading Wars
For and against phonics
6.5) Maths wars
6.5.1) JUMP fractions
6.5.2) YuMi Deadly Maths
6.5.3) Liping Ma
6.5.4 Ethnomaths: Alan Bishop
6.5.5) What is maths? Lockies Lament.
6.6) Creativity
Rhonda Farkota: When it came to the employment and cultivation of higher order skills where reasoning and reflection were required it was clear that a student-directed approach to learning was better suited. But when it came to the acquisition of basic skills the empirical evidence unequivocally showed that a teacher-directed approach was best suited
6.7) Brain science
6.8) Unintended Consequences Of Full Immersion Di: Teacher Quality?
Good teachers may like to have more control over their lesson structure than is allowed through the NIFDI version of DI
6.9) John Hattie's Eight Mind Frames
6.10 Let a hundred flowers be evaluated. But how?
The higher goal of education is to learn how to think and argue better about complex questions of all types - philosophical, scientific, political, ethical, personal, the meaning of life, etc. The only way to achieve this is to have teachers who model this thinking themselves!

Advocates like to claim that “science is on our side” but we also need to go through a process of understanding what science really is and the strengths and limitations of science
7.1 Swear words again
7.2 Naturalism
7.2.1 For Naturalism
Rousseau: Progress is freedom because humans are naturally good. Whatever is natural is good
7.2.2 Against Naturalism
Anthropological findings show that there is no easy or natural path to certain types of knowledge, including reading and writing
7.3 Constructivism / Constructionism (Papert, includes Piaget)
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled” Plutarch 45AD-120AD
7.4) Friere
Difference of opinion between Noel Pearson and Allan Luke
7.5) Vygotsky
7.6) Bruner
7.7 Cognitivism and decomposing knowledge
7.8) Causation / Probabilistic explanations
7.9 Behaviourism
7.10 Logical Empiricism
7.11 Ambiguity Is Written Deeply Into Knowledge Structures
What Zig Engelmann does is take the good idea that instruction should be tidied up and made clear too far into the claim that in general instruction can be made unambiguous
7.12 Pragmatism, includes Dewey
7.13) Dialectics

Missionaries, misfits and mercenaries: do they dominate the scene? Is closing the gap a wicked problem? The nature of wicked problems. To succeed in the white man's world will lead to being ostracised within one's own culture. Is Noel Pearson a good man or a bad man?
8.1) Rebellion
8.2) Money
8.3) The political left has lost its way
8.4) Welfare poison
8.5) Noel Pearson and the jigsaw metaphor
Noel has figured out some parts of a complex jigsaw but not all the parts
8.6) Noel and Me

You hear quite a lot of talk amongst “progressives” that the new computer medium makes the old ways of educating obsolete
9.1) 21st Century Skills, web 2.0
9.2) The case against

10.1) Has everyone failed?
The fractured lives of indigenous people
10.2) Motivations
10.3) Indigenous jigsaw
10.3.1) What sort of leader can turn around a failing school?
Architects are the only leaders with any real long-term impact, as they quietly redesign the school and transform the community it serves
10.4) The place of DI in the jigsaw
10.5) Is Radical Epistemological Self Transformation Possible?
Does evidence determine outlook or does outlook determine what evidence one is prepared to look at?
10.6) What is science?
When people argue that science or evidence supports their viewpoint what does this mean? This requires not only looking at the evidence but also looking at the model of science that is being evoked here