For the last half century, higher spending and many modern reforms have failed to raise the achievement of students in the United States to the levels of other economically advanced countries. A possible explanation, says Herbert Walberg, is that much current education theory is ill informed about scientific psychology, often drawing on fads and pop psychology, and contradicting well-evidenced behavioral insights. In Advancing Student Learning, Walberg draws on both psychological and economic research to describe how students actually learn and how family, classroom, and school practices can help them learn more effectively.
The author debunks many of the myths of modern education and presents research showing that young learners thrive when teachers have clear goals, plan effective activities to attain them, and measure student progress. He discusses the powerful influence of parents on what students learn within and outside school and how choice programs give parents a stronger role in their children's education. And he presents evidence to reveal why teachers' classroom practices—not their credentials or experience—are what makes a true difference in student learning.