In late 1967, Project Follow Through was reorganized to select, test, and evaluate promising but different educational programs for disadvantaged youngsters in the first three grades. Now, nearly ten years later, the completed evaluations of Follow Through suggest that one of these programs, the University of Oregon's Direct Instruction Model, has produced significant gains in measures of positive affect, basic skills, and conceptual reasoning. In this article, Wesley Becker discusses the distinctive features of this model—its underlying assumptions and basic teaching components. He then explores the implications of teaching reading and language skills to economically disadvantaged children and advocates that immediate steps be taken to teach vocabulary systematically throughout the school years. Viewing this goal as essential for compensatory education, he concludes with an analysis of how vocabulary instruction might best be implemented.
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