One of the largest studies ever done of United States classrooms (over 2,500 elementary classrooms) has found that

  • elementary students spend over 90% of their time working alone or listening to the teacher (rather than, for example, working collaboratively with peers);
  • most kids had a healthy classroom 'emotional climate' but that only about 1 in 7 kids had a consistently high-quality 'instructional climate' all three years studied; and
  • the typical teacher scored only 3.6 out of seven points for 'richness of instructional methods,' and 3.4 for providing 'evaluative feedback' to students on their work.

The study's findings are reported in this week's Science magazine.