As at the school as at the university.
Finland seems to always top everybody on international tests, but I can't tell you how they do it. However, I am very impressed with the new style of teaching in the United Kingdom.
In the UK, they give the students clear focus points for each lesson and tell them what they need to know to get a good grade/mark on tests. That's simply fantastic. I remember that it was such a guessing game when I was in school, exactly what information was important. You never knew and if you focused incorrectly, you could fail your exam.
No, I mean each lesson has focus points. But you are told what you need to know for the final exam at the end of the semester/year. Not a test on every lesson.
The problem is: what YOU think is important is often not what your TEACHER thinks is important. You are tested on facts you think are irrelevant or not-so-important. That does not improve your knowledge, that just makes you terrified of the exam. It can also make you angry at school in general and hate your teacher.
I agree, independent study is very good for certain learning types. But not for everybody. There are many students who would fail if they were allowed to research the information for themselves.