>ABSTRACT: In my post "The Effective But Forgotten >Benezet Method of K-8 Education"[Hake (2012a) at ><http://bit.ly/SbTiWD>, I listed as one of the reasons >that the Benezet Method <http://bit.ly/926tiM> is >virtually forgotten is "the opposition of those who >favor 'direct instruction' (i.e., 'drill and practice') >in the early grades."
Benezet fails all by itself. To believe otherwise is to believe that nobody noticed the success of Benezet, especially the students and parents who personally experienced this putative success. It is also to believe there is a conspiracy against academic achievement. Actually, there is such a conspiracy.
Suppose the Benezet method works more or less according to Hake's fevered imagination. The immediate question is this: does Benezet work in exactly the same way for all students, or do some students benefit more from it than others?
My working hypothesis is that it is impossible for ANY pedagogical method, if it has any degree of effectiveness at all, to be equally effective for all students. Some students will always learn faster and better than others, and some students will always learn slower and worse than others, so long as there is something to learn. Always. Therefore, any combination of pedagogy and curriculum that actually promotes academic learning will necessarily exacerbate The Gap.
Consequently, Benezet really does not stand a chance. One possibility is that Benezet is garden variety snake oil. It does not do the job for which it is intended and it is, therefore, rightly forgotten, by people who like Direct Instruction (whatever that is) and by everybody else.
The other possibility is that Benezet does work, but it exacerbates The Gap. That is, it violates The Prime Directive. In this case, the Education Mafia will reject Benezet absolutely.
I wonder, Richard, have you investigated the question of what Benezet does to The Gap? Unless and until you do that, you can have no clear picture of the political possibilities for the Benezet method.