The best way to teach

Filling the pail

I am actually slightly more interested inwhat to teach thanhow to teach. However, teaching methods are more amenable to experiment than curriculum contentand so I find myself discussing them more often.

The reason why the effect of our choice of content is not easy to test highlights an important flaw in many experimental designs. Think about it: what will you test students on at the end of your experiment? If this content was taught in one condition but not in the other then I can tell you the outcome already. So any fair test of content hasto involve a transfer of understanding from one context to another. This is hard to achieve and relies on an element of chance.

Teacher-led is better

In the words of Jeanne Chall:

“The methods with the highest positive effects on learning are those for which the teacher assumes direction, for example…

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