The two models for teaching, direct and indirect, both have their own individual strengths and weaknesses, but neither needs to be mutually exclusive. Effective teachers should embrace both strategies providing opportunities and variety for their students. Limiting yourself to just one style or strategy of teaching is also limiting your students to one direction of learning. Students are diverse and learn in multiple ways, thus incorporating both direct and indirect instruction into daily lesson plans provides for a good opportunity to embrace all types of learning habits that may exist in the classroom. But, direct instruction and indirect instruction have their strengths and their weaknesses, which is important to understand so that lesson plans are appropriately and effectively designed.
Borich says (2011), “direct instruction strategies are best suited for the teaching of facts, rules, and action sequences” (pg. 262). Thus, when wanting students to come away from a lesson with strict factual knowledge a direct instruction presentation or lecture format is best suited for the job. Students benefit form the direct instruction when the objective is the attainment of content knowledge and facts as direct instruction provides for teacher-to-student instruction, usually in the form of a lecture based presentation. On the other hand, indirect instruction is better suited for concept learning, inquiry learning, and problem-centered learning (Borich, 2011, pg 287). Indirect instruction setups a student-to-student learning process with the teacher acting as more of a guide or moderator. Thus type of instruction helps students to learn higher-order thinking skills and gives them the chance to link content knowledge with real-world examples. An inquiry and discussion based strategy, indirect instruction allows for students to build their own concepts and establish patterns.