Direct Instruction And Discovery Learning: Direct Instruction And Discovery Learning

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Direct instruction and discovery learning are two very different styles and their effectiveness has been argued extensively. This paper focuses mainly on elementary school students of science and math and the efficacy of each teaching method in those subjects. The paper investigates the effect each has on recall and retention paying attention to the cognitive load imposed upon the learner by each method when applying the concepts in later lessons (Kalyuga, 2011). The rote memorization of math facts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division shows an edge in effectiveness and efficiency for our youngest learners over discovery learning which seeks to allow students to create their own knowledge. The author looks at testing data…show more content…
The topic is of extreme importance in a time when it seems there is school reform every few years. Claims that our students aren’t “college and career ready” or are falling behind students in other nations have inspired the No Child Left Behind act and the adoption of the hotly debated Common Core State Standards. Many people believe that American school systems need total overhaul, and there is no consensus on what that overhaul should look like. It is important that educators keep in mind how a child learns not just what the child learns. Subscribers to different methods and styles tout the benefits of their favorite method while discounting the benefits of other methods. Recently the media has been inundated with frustrated parents angry with the methods being used to teach their children, usually in mathematics. The argument over “old math” versus “new math” are renewing interest in the ways young minds learn. “Old math” refers to the way the majority of adults were taught math. Using direct instruction, math facts were taught and memorized and flash cards were the prevailing study aid for young math students. Today’s parents argue that this has made the recall of those math facts automatic for them, meaning that they don’t have to think about the problem, the answer is “just there” in their minds. The “new math” is one in which the student is taught how to figure the problem by using…show more content…
Discovery Learning
Discovery learning is constructivist in nature, but the two are not synonymous; it is a kind of constructivism. Discovery learning is a method of teaching that relies on students’ natural curiosity and reasoning skills to discover information on their own with little to no input from a teacher. Students are presented with problems to solve and the materials necessary to come to the conclusion desired, but students must do so on their own. There may be more than one way to solve the problem presented. There may be more than one correct answer.
The teacher takes the role of a “guide on the side”, no explicit answers are given. In pure discovery learning, no input at all is given after the problem is presented. Students construct the solutions to the problems presented and discover the targeted concepts for themselves. This is thought to develop a much deeper understanding of the concepts taught this

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