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Discovery Learning Theresa Murphy, John Malloy, Sean O’Brien

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1 Discovery Learning Theresa Murphy, John Malloy, Sean O’Brien

2 What is discovery learning?
Discovery learning is a learner centered mode of teaching most widely discussed by John Dewey and Jerome Bruner. In discovery learning students become active participants in learning by exploring concepts and answering their own questions through testing and experience.

Discovery learning works best in problem solving situations in which the teacher provides the students with materials needed to complete a project along with specific examples. The students work alone or in groups arrive at their own understandings

4 Often times discovery leaning can be divided into five distinct steps
1.) Orientation 2.) Hypothesis Generation 3.) Hypothesis testing 4.) Conclusion 5.) Regulative Processes

5 Step One Orientation Step Two Hypothesis Generation
- In this stage learners develop their initial ideas about the subject. They may read introductory material, explore the area, and activate prior knowledge about the subject. Step Two Hypothesis Generation - In this stage learners formulate hypothesis about the problems and questions of the material. A hypothesis is usually a statement about the relation between two or more variables.

6 Step Three Hypothesis Testing
In this step the learners test the hypothesis generated in the previous step. The students will conduct experiments that test the hypothesis, and gather and interpret those results.

7 Step Four Conclusion The student reviews the hypothesis in the light of experimental findings. Are the findings in line with the predictions from the hypothesis? How did the findings prove the predications right and wrong?

8 Step Five Regulation This step involves keeping track of the progress made in the preceding steps. This step also involves planning and setting goals and finally, evaluation. Evaluation concerns assessing the outcomes of the discovery process.

9 Discovery Learning in a Nutshell
Discovery Learning involves recognizing a problem, characterizing what a solution would look like, searching for relevant information, developing a solution strategy and employing it. It has three main characteristics: exploration and problem solving, student centered activities based on student interests, and scaffolding new information into students schemas

10 How is discovery learning unique
Learning is active and hands on Emphasis on the process, how the student got to the answers rather than the answers themselves Failure encourages students to keep working to find the right solutions Feedback and discussion with group members promotes deeper understanding Fosters curiosity and individual interests.

11 Advantages of Discovery Learning

12 Highly Motivating Students are engaged actively in the learning process. They are responsible for their own successes and failures. They have something at stake.

13 Problem Solving Fosters the growth of problem solving and creative skills. Similar to on-job learning that will occur as adults. Instills lifelong learning skills

14 Personalization The learning experience is tailored to each child.
Gives the students autonomy and independence.

15 Develops an Interest in Learning
Students discover their own ways of learning. Students must utilize their own prior knowledge and understanding. Develops curiosity.

16 Memory Students may be more likely to retain the information if they learn it on their own terms. When they learn the information in context, they may be more likely to remember it than if they are taught from a textbook exclusively.

17 Disadvantages of Discovery Learning

18 Not easy to implement Learners need to possess a number of cognitive skills and be intrinsically motivated to learn

19 Pure Model vs. Guided Model
Teachers have found that discovery learning is most successful when students have prerequisite knowledge and undergo some structured experiences. Most researchers would argue that pure discovery learning as a general and global teaching strategy for beginning and intermediary learners doesn't work. The debate on how much guiding is needed is somewhat open.

20 Some Criticisms (Sometimes huge) cognitive overload, potential to confuse the learner if no initial framework is available, etc. Measurable performance (compared to hard- core instructional designs) is worse for most learning situations. Creations of misconceptions ("knowing less after instruction")

21 Weak students have a tendency to "fly under the radar” and teacher's fail to detect situations needing strong remediation or scaffolding. In order to solve even moderately complex problems a person must engage many schemas. If nothing is available in long term memory, the learner is stuck.

22 In order to benefit from a discovery situation, students must have basic knowledge about the problem and must know how to apply problem- solving strategies. Without this knowledge and skill, they will flounder and grow frustrated. Instead of learning from the materials, they may simply play with them. Critics believe that discovery learning is so inefficient and so difficult to organize successfully that other methods are preferable. This seems especially true for lower-ability students. Discovery methods may make too many demands on these students because they lack the background knowledge and problem-solving skills needed to benefit.

23 Mayer (2004) points out that interest in discovery learning has waxed and waned since the 1960s. He argues that in each case the empirical literature has shown that the use of pure discovery methods is not suggested, yet time and time again researchers have renamed their instructional methods only to be discredited again, to rename their movement again.

24 Discovery Learning is related to:
Active Learning Inquiry based Learning Problem based Learning Expeditionary Learning




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