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4.11 DRILL METHOD

Models that rely on practice are used extensively when the purpose of instruction is to enable students to acquire a skill or a proficiency in doing some overt act. Often it is intermingled with recitation and discussion methods, such as in courses in foreign languages, mathematics, music, and art and in athletic programs of all kinds.

MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS:

There is a repeated performance of a learning act until a desired level of skill to do the act correctly is attained or the teacher and student settle for a lesser level of competency.

The performance may be verbal, as in music, speaking a foreign language, and speech correction and therapy, written, as in mathematics, spelling, and shorthand; or manual as in industrial arts, art, athletics and physical education, and typing.

  1. Groupings:
    Practice and drill may be done in unison or by one or more individual members of a class of any size or by individuals in laboratories, teaching or resource centers, study halls, libraries, or audiovisual centers or at home.
  2. Student Activity:
    There is complete student involvement with performance of overt acts; some witnessing of demonstration of the art of listening to explanation of what to do. The use of a computer or a machine necessary to the operation may be involved.
  3. Teacher Activity: Teachers explain the nature of the act verbally, visually, or both; demonstrate proper ways of doing the act; explain to TO NO VIS students, usually individually, errors in performance and show how to correct them; supervise students during practice periods; observe students in performance, such as athletic games, musical events, and sports exhibitions, and note success as basis for further teaching and practice; and evaluate performance, skills, and competencies.
  4. Teaching Resources: Models equipment, chalkboard, films, videotapes, recordings, machines, tools, materials needed for the performance, computers, and communication systems are used.
  5. Uses and Value: May be used to develop a desirable skill to perform an act or to acquire a proficiency, especially one that may be habituated, to continue to repeat an act, to make something of to write or say something until it is fully understood, to accomplish something overtly that provides a student with a competency or sense of satisfaction, especially if it motivates further participation in learning activities to develop an understanding of the principles underlying the operation of a machine, a tool, or object used in the performance of the skill to be able to judge the quality of such an object to individualize instruction, especially through use of teaching machines, computers, and audio-visual equipment. Rosenshine concluded from a review of the research that “controlled practice appears to be generally functional.” He cited studies showing that students made more progress when they spend time on work where they have a low error rate. Rosenshine also cited research showing that optimal patterns for drill and practice varied with the socioeconomic status of students teachers fail to teach the principles underlying the skill or to develop concepts and understandings that extend the kinds of learning outcomes possible. Failure to individualize instruction in learning skills may waste the time of many students. If too much time is spent on skills, then other goals of lea.ning are seriously neglected.

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