the Number One way that most of us know what we know is … autonomous, firsthand, curiosity-driven, wide-ranging, self-directed, trial and error, immediate feedback, personal experience.

Number Two in efficiency is learning through shared experience and the dialogue that ordinarily accompanies it.

The Number Three way we learn — from “delivered information”— is a distant third in teaching-learning efficiency.

If I’m right, we have schooling backwards. On orders from corporate interests and Congress, we’ve put nearly all of our education eggs in basket Number Three, the least efficient. A few educator outliers use basket Number Two, but their claim that small groups working on projects of their own choosing to learn like gangbusters is widely ignored. Basket Number One … is of no interest at all to policymakers.

A mix of Numbers One and Two would move learners to a whole new level of performance, but the big money is on delivered information

Marion Brady via