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Yet Another Study Finds Constructivism Tends To Work Better Than Direct Instruction


Yes, yes, direct instruction has its place in the classroom. Though, as I’ve discussed many times (The Best Posts Questioning If Direct Instruction Is “Clearly Superior”; The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & TeachingThe Best Research Demonstrating That Lectures Are Not The Best Instructional Strategy ), it must be kept in a limited “place.”

Yet another study has reinforced this finding, and it’s taken an usual perspective. The researchers/writers of Improvements from a Flipped Classroom May Simply Be the Fruits of Active Learning compared classes that were using “active learning” via a “flipped classroom” with classes that were using active learning techniques in a school classroom and found that both were equally as effective.

They concluded it was the constructivist methodology that was the key to effective learning, not the tech.

Here’s an excerpt:


Thanks to The Journal for the tip. I’m adding this post to some of the previously-mentioned lists, as well as to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Might this support the notion that meta studies like Hattie’s find direct instruction most effective *because* constructivism is harder to train for, harder to practice and not practiced especially well in many classrooms where it is attempted?

  2. From the study:
    “This study was run at a large (approx. 35,000), private, doctorate-granting
    university in the western United States.
    The university is highly selective, with an average incoming
    freshman ACT score of 28 and grade point average of
    3.82, which means that students are highly motivated. It is
    a private religious institution with a highly homogeneous
    population both religiously and culturally. Students in this
    study were nonmajors enrolled in a general education biology
    Hardly your average kind of student or pupil. If you look at this with the knowledge we get from e.g. Hattie (2009) than it’s not really a support for this claim.

    • On it’s own – no. However, in combination with the other numerous studies that I linked to in the post, I think it’s just another piece of overwhelming evidence, notwithstanding Hattie’s analysis.

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