Children of the Code posts Engelmann 2

Over on Children of the Code, David Boulton and colleagues affiliated with Learning Stewards, a non-profit organization, posted the second segment of an extended video interview entitled “Professor Siegfried Engelmann Part 2: Improving the Quality of Learning.” Here’s a snippet from the the announcement:

Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann is Professor of Education at the University of Oregon, the Director of the National Institute for Direct Instruction, and President of Engelmann-Becker Corporation, which develops instructional materials and provides educational services for students with various educational needs. The creator of “Direct Instruction”, Professor Engelmann is also the author or co-author of more than 100 articles and chapters of professional books, and more than a dozen professional books and monographs.

“It doesn’t matter what your theory of learning is, all you need to do is look at the facts of what you did and the facts of what the kids are doing.”

I like that quote. It captures the raw empiricism that undergirds Professor Engelmann’s approach to teaching and instructional design.

Siegfried Engelmann 2: Improving the Quality of Learning
Read an earlier entry from Teach Effectively that links to the first part of the interview: “Engelmann interview on instructional design.”

5 Responses to “Children of the Code posts Engelmann 2”


  • Thanks, John, I would have missed this.

    I still struggle with Engelmann’s views on dyslexia:

    Dyslexia or Dysteachia?

    Then you have, and perhaps this one bothers me the most, it is the notion of dyslexia. We’re slowly moving toward the direction that there is a “dys-teach-ia”—that kids are logical and have mislearned because they have been mistaught. But it’s really, really slow for this notion to take hold. There’s still tons of information printed on dyslexia in classrooms today. And we’ve shown for the past thirty-four years, that if kids are taught properly in kindergarten, you won’t have non-readers. There are NO non-readers. I’ve never seen a kid with an IQ in the range of 80 or above that couldn’t be taught to read in a timely fashion. And I’ve taken on various comers that said, “Oh, this kid has no visual perception” and so on. They can all be taught to read if you start at the right level and you provide a sequence that is going to teach them systematically.

    So what does it take for them to let go of these notions? I know that it’s all tied up with funding. Hopefully, they’re getting close to kicking specific learning disabilities out. But of all the absurd categories or labels, dyslexia has to be among the worst. Because how do you know a kid has a specific learning disability? Because he can’t read. Why can’t he read? Because he’s got a specific learning disability. Oh, I see. That makes a lot of sense now, perfectly circular logic!

    What then happens to the kids with residual issues (such as RAN or processing speed) who are reading at grade level but more slowly and with more effort than their peers?

  • I wanted to add two links to the above, two recent studies from Norway on children before literacy instruction. Livia Blackburne reported on them:

    Dyslexia Brain Differences Show Up Before Formal Reading Instruction and Color and Object Naming Speed Differences Predict Future Risk for Dyslexia.

  • dyslexia is not that debiliating but it is somewhat limiting to the kind of job that you can get”‘;

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  • my sister has dyslexia but she can live a very normal life eventhough she can’t read that much’.;

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