Students don’t learn without being taught, concludes an article in Educational Psychologist linked by Ken DeRosa at D-Ed Reckoning.
Controlled experiments almost uniformly indicate that when dealing with novel information, learners should be explicitly shown what to do and how to do it.
. . . Mayer (2004) recently reviewed evidence from studies conducted from 1950 to the late 1980s comparing pure discovery learning, defined as unguided, problem-based instruction, with guided forms of instruction. He suggested that in each decade since the mid-1950s, when empirical studies provided solid evidence that the then popular unguided approach did notwork, a similar approach popped up under a different name with the cycle then repeating itself.
Discovery learning “gave way to experiential learning, which gave way to problem based and inquiry learning, which now gives way to constructivist instructional techniques.”
Ken promises more on this to come.