I would like to reference the benefits of active learning in my teaching philosophy. I have been to a variety of talks discussing the researched benefits (eg. increased class averages) of active learning but I do not know if there is a specific paper people are referencing. Is there a canonical paper that is usually referenced or is it more common to reference any paper on the subject. If it makes a difference, I am in Mathematics.

  • 2
    Do any of the papers you have read reference the same article or paper? That would be the one to go for...
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 1, 2019 at 19:25
  • That's a great idea- thank you!
    – CEH
    Apr 1, 2019 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


A Very widely cited meta-analysis of studies on this topic is:

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.

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