This volume addresses one of the central issues in education: how best to instruct our students. From the late Jeanne S. Chall, Professor of Education at Harvard University and a leading figure in American education, the book reviews and evaluates the many educational reforms and innovations that have been proposed and employed over the past century. Systematically analyzing a vast body of qualitative and quantitative research, Chall compares achievement rates that result from traditional, teacher-centered approaches with those resulting from progressive, student-centered methods. Her findings are striking and clear: that teacher-centered approaches result in higher achievement overall, with particular benefits for children of lower socioeconomic status and those with learning difficulties. Offering cogent recommendations for practice, the book makes a strong case for basing future education reforms and innovations on a solid empirical foundation. In a new foreword to the paperback edition, Marilyn Jager Adams reflects on Chall's deep-rooted commitment to and enduring legacy in educating America's children.