Unengaging elementary classrooms

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.

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