Harold W. Stevenson, a professor of psychology who gained nationwide attention in the 1980s for his studies comparing achievement among students in Asian nations and the United States, died July 8 in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 80 and had suffered a long illness.
Mr. Stevenson, who was a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his colleagues found that American students lagged behind Asian students as early as 1st grade. But the mothers of students in the United States were much more satisfied than mothers in Japan and Taiwan were with the quality of their children’s schools.
With James W. Stigler, Mr. Stevenson was the author of The Learning Gap: Why Our Schools Are Failing and What We Can Learn From Japanese and Chinese Education, first published in 1992.