ERIC Number: EJ684214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Should There Be a Three-Strikes Rule against Pure Discovery Learning?
Mayer, Richard E.
American Psychologist, v59 n1 p14-19 Jan 2004
The author's thesis is that there is sufficient research evidence to make any reasonable person skeptical about the benefits of discovery learning--practiced under the guise of cognitive constructivism or social constructivism--as a preferred instructional method. The author reviews research on discovery of problem-solving rules culminating in the 1960s, discovery of conservation strategies culminating in the 1970s, and discovery of LOGO programming strategies culminating in the 1980s. In each case, guided discovery was more effective than pure discovery in helping students learn and transfer. Overall, the constructivist view of learning may be best supported by methods of instruction that involve cognitive activity rather than behavioral activity, instructional guidance rather than pure discovery, and curricular focus rather than unstructured exploration.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Constructivism (Learning), Discovery Learning, Transfer of Training, Problem Solving
American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721 (Toll Free); Tel: 202-336-5510; TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: email@example.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A