Learning through direct instruction

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Do you learn new material best through lecture or hands-on activities?

New research suggests that we learn better when taught through lecture. Haven't we been learning through creative problem solving for the last 2 decades in the US?

This new study out of Harvard Kennedy School found that students spending 10% more time in lecture structured classrooms and less time on creative problem solving activities out peformed their otherwise equally matched peers in math and science by more than 2 months of subject level learning.

What does this study not share?

  • We know that students who directly prepare for any test will outperform their peers who work on critical connections of material and application of concepts in the short term.
  • However, in the long run how will these peer groups compare when asked to use the information learned in real world situations?
  • How can we deeply understand information without discussion?

What do you believe are the long term benefits of investing in critical thinking skills and connecting new information to what is already understood?

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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