Direct instruction is not the shiny new toy of educational theories, but in some areas, it is still very relevant (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2015, p. 340). Mathematics has lots of rules and procedures that can be learned inductively, but that is not always the best approach. I view mathematics as a collection of tools. You first need to know how to use them in order to know when to use them. You will be hard pressed to screw two items together if you don’t know what a screwdriver is. Musicians spend hours learning scales, chords, inversions, and progressions, but not solely for the purpose of pure knowledge. Without this knowledge, which is generally learned through direct instruction and reinforced with rote memorization, they cannot solve the problems of, “how do I make this song sound sad?” or, “how does the guitarist compliment what the piano player is doing?” Direct instruction can provide the means for students to go on to inductive learning.
And while mathematics is not thought of as a social endeavor, there is great value to studying it in a social way. In a group, learners have the ability to learn from each other (Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2015, p. 234). Because each member of the group has different strengths, the group has greater learning and problem solving abilities than each of the individuals. This collaborative approach is also beneficial for learners, as later in life, they will often be called on to work with others to solve problems, whether it is in a professional or personal setting. This becomes even more important when trying to solve multidisciplinary problems that require a person to work with people who have different specialties.
Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of Teaching. New York City: Pearson.