Discovery Learning and Its Leaders

This type of learning has had a number of leaders; most notable of all is the progenitor Jerome Bruner. Born in 1915, he was an American psychologist, who contributed immensely to developing the theory of cognitive psychology in educational psychology. His main ideas revolved around a theory he formed and named categorization. Here he argues ‘like in’ Wikipedia article: “To perceive is to categorize, to conceptualize is to categorize, to learn is to form categories, to make decisions is to categorize.”

He deals with this subject in detail in His essays of 1979 where he says that the teacher has to evaluate that which is well-known. He says that discovery learning is the outcome of an inquisitive and organized cognizance. For the student, he assesses the existing proof and comes up with an informed inference founded on the assembled proof. Bruner espouses a method of learning where the student and the teacher collaborate both in the instruction and learning process. He says that one’s logical strength lies in the ability of the student to identify forms when judging explanations to difficulties being examined.

A developed rating of knowledge is realized by a student who is able to think of previous involvements when solving a problem. The method itself is gratifying and encouraging to the learner. Another proponent of discovery learning is John Dewey. In his book Democracy and Education, he says that as our mind interacts with different aspects of our environment, it develops, generates experiences useful in the learning process. Therefore, the learner uses past experiences in influencing the present understanding of what is being learned.

Jean Piaget

Born in 1896 in Switzerland, he developed an interest in natural science and biology and has contributed to the discovery learning debate. He developed a theory of cognitive development in children; he said that there are certain stages in one’s development that he/she behaves in a certain way. The children gave responses to certain issues depending on what they had learned from their elder ones. He also suggested that their learning depended so much on their ability to adjust to the surroundings, they adjusted the items in their surroundings to their intellectual capabilities, and thereafter they would alter their conceptual arrangements to meet the needs within their surroundings. This formed a critical part of learning that made students interact freely with their environment, formulating ideas, finding out how to solve puzzles within their environment, adapt to changing situations within their surroundings that aided learning.

Lev Vygotsky

Born in I Russia in 1896, Lev was the founder of social-historical psychology. He founded many theories to explain the development of human beings through their environmental settings. One which he said is the ability of a child to interact with cultural components and items that have meanings beyond his understanding. This interaction through observation and apprenticeship enables them to learn how things are done, and once this is incorporated in the mind it forms experiences that he uses to learn. If guided properly, one is able to discover for one’s self-knowledge.

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