Learning through direct instruction?

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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 outperformed 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!