What is it? This remarkable article is full of insights about what it takes to make PBL and related reform practices work in the context of low-income urban schools The study shows that reform-oriented practices in mathematics can be effective with urban poor students in middle school and high school mathematics - to the point of reducing the achievement gap. Boaler provides evidence that the "pedagogy of poverty" can be overcome, but only when well-designed and implemented by teachers. The curriculum itself is only part of solution; what is more important is effective enactment of that curriculum.
Why do we like it? The two studies discussed in this article demonstrate that, when approached with sufficient care, reform-oriented approaches can be effective for all students including those who who have traditionally experienced linguistic, ethnic and class inequalities.