After watching many videos and reading many articles about Direct Instruction, Guided Inquiry, and Cooperative Learning I feel I finally have a grasp on these different types of lessons.
In Direct Instruction, the teacher is presenting information to the students. This is a fast paced lesson that requires the teacher to stop and check for understanding when progressing through the lesson. It is important to provide praise to students and encourage all students to be engaged and involved in the lesson. Students can give choral responses, or agree or disagree with another classmates answer. There also must be several opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned through guided practice activities. Although Direct Instruction is a teacher centered lesson, it is imperative that students are engaged, involved, and participating in the lesson.
In a Guided Inquiry lesson, students are given a problem or question that they must work through to determine the answer. In Guided Inquiry, students are taking information that they learned through Direct Instruction and deepening that knowledge, or students may be given a task that they have to solve. One video that I viewed showed students learning about the phases of the moon. They were posed a question by the teacher and then they worked in groups to answer the question. Guided Inquiry lessons typically follow a 5 E method in which students engage, explore, explain, elaborate,and evaluate. Guided Inquiry lessons are student centered and the teacher circulates to monitor student progress.
Cooperative Learning is also student centered. However, in Cooperative Learning it is important to focus on how students are working together in groups and with one another. Students are still deepening their understanding and learning, however, cooperative learning focuses on how well students interact with each other. A major aspect of Cooperative Learning is group processing. Check out the video below to learn more about group processing and why it is essential to Cooperative Learning!