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Does Lecturing Work Better After All?

This is bound to spark some interest. Harvard scholar Paul E. Peterson points to new research finding that 8th graders who received more direct instruction scored higher on an international math and science test than those whose teachers' predominantly engaged them in problem-solving activities. He notes that this is the direction that KIPP and other charter schools have already been moving, but that—sadly, in his view—most middle school instruction in the U.S., influenced by the "child-centered" theories of John Dewey and his progressive-education followers, "is weighted more towards problem-solving."

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