Publication 4661

Mayer R. E. (2008) Constructivism: Discovery learning. In: Anderman E. M. & Anderman L. H. (eds.) Psychology of classroom learning: An encyclopedia. Gale, Farmington Hills MI: 268–270. Fulltext at
Excerpt: Discovery learning is an instructional method in which students are free to work in a learning environment with little or no guidance. For example, discovery learning is the method of instruction when students are given a math problem and asked to come up with a solution on their own, when students are given a scientific problem and allowed to conduct experiments, or when students are allowed to learn how a computer program works by typing commands and seeing what happens on a computer screen. The early 21st-century interest in discovery learning has its roots in Jerome Bruner’s (1961) eloquent call for discovery methods of instruction and is echoed in Seymour Papert’s (1980) focus on discovery methods for teaching computer programming and Deanna Kuhn’s (2005) focus on discovery methods for teaching scientific thinking.

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