ERIC Number: EJ933606
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Does Discovery-Based Instruction Enhance Learning?
Alfieri, Louis; Brooks, Patricia J.; Aldrich, Naomi J.; Tenenbaum, Harriet R.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v103 n1 p1-18 Feb 2011
Discovery learning approaches to education have recently come under scrutiny (Tobias & Duffy, 2009), with many studies indicating limitations to discovery learning practices. Therefore, 2 meta-analyses were conducted using a sample of 164 studies: The 1st examined the effects of unassisted discovery learning versus explicit instruction, and the 2nd examined the effects of enhanced and/or assisted discovery versus other types of instruction (e.g., explicit, unassisted discovery). Random effects analyses of 580 comparisons revealed that outcomes were favorable for explicit instruction when compared with unassisted discovery under most conditions (d = -0.38, 95% CI [-0.44, -0.31]). In contrast, analyses of 360 comparisons revealed that outcomes were favorable for enhanced discovery when compared with other forms of instruction (d = 0.30, 95% CI [0.23, 0.36]). The findings suggest that unassisted discovery does not benefit learners, whereas feedback, worked examples, scaffolding, and elicited explanations do. (Contains 4 tables.)
Descriptors: Feedback (Response), Discovery Learning, Teaching Methods, Meta Analysis, Comparative Analysis, Conventional Instruction, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Direct Instruction, Cognitive Processes, Difficulty Level, Effect Size
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A