Grappling for Knowledge

According to a 1995 study, a sample of Japanese eighth graders spent 44 percent of their class time inventing, thinking, and actively struggling with underlying concepts. the study’s sample of American students, on the other hand, spend less than one percent of their time in that state.

 “The Japanese want their kids to struggle,” said Jim Stigler, the UCLA professor who oversaw the study and who co-wrote The Teaching Gap with James Hiebert. “Sometimes the (Japanese) teacher will purposely give the wrong answer so the kids can grapple with the theory. American teachers, though, worked like waiters. Whenever there was a struggle, they wanted to move past it, make sure the class kept gliding along. But you don't learn by gliding.”

Daniel Coyle, The Talent Code