A study led by Paul Gertler, Emma Näslund-Hadley and Rosangela Bando involving 17,000 students in four countries finds gains for inquiry-, or problem-based teaching. Education Week recently reported on their findings.
“Introducing math and science through inquiry and problem-based instruction can pay off throughout elementary school, according to a massive international series of studies.
Education economists Emma Näslund-Hadley and Rosangela Bando, of the Inter-American Development Bank, and Paul Gertler of the University of California, Berkeley, conducted 10 randomized controlled experiments with more than 17,000 students in Argentina, Belize, Paraguay, and Peru, four countries working with the Inter-American Development Bank to implement inquiry-based math and science programs.
The researchers randomly assigned preschool, 3rd, and 4th grade classes to use either inquiry-based instruction or the standard math and science instruction in their schools—which generally involved teacher lectures, memorization, and practice. (While students in most countries were assigned by class, in Peru students were taught in small groups of four to seven students, and so they were assigned individually.)”
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