In this article, A. Graham Down reviews R. Barker Bausel’s Too Simple to Fail, a book that analyzes the major results of the past thirty years of education science and then determined what insights can transform educational outcomes. Dr. Bausell’s earlier book is Snake Oil Science: The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Oxford UP 2007).
Why Schools of One Are Our Future
by A. Graham Down / Education Next / 23 February 2011
Too Simple to Fail, a new book from Oxford University Press, is a review of thirty years of research into how children learn and what would give us better results. The author, R. Barker Bausell, a biostatistician in the School of Nursing at the University of Maryland, has come to the conclusion that classroom instruction is hopelessly obsolete, and that the answer to the deficiencies of our educational system is the tutorial model.
As a graduate of Oxbridge, with its time-honored tutorial system, it would be difficult for me to dispute Dr. Bausell’s central premise—that one-on-one instruction is the best guarantor of improved academic performance. Of course, this would involve displacing or at least supplementing the traditional 1:35 student:teacher ratio of the conventional classroom. But Dr. Bausell’s exhaustive research summary leaves one with no other plausible conclusion.
image source: EducationNews.org, which includes an interview with Dr. Bausell on the book