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Discovery Learning: Pros and Cons

Many names have been given to the methods of teaching that emphasize teaching and learning practices that actively engage students in, and help them make sense of, what they are learning; but discovery learning is the term that most often is used to describe such methods. The foundations of discovery learning can be traced back to the work of John Dewey about a century ago, Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, and Jean Piaget in the 1950s; and this approach to learning looms large in the contemporary constructivist movement. Both Dewey and Vygotsky postulated that children learned best by actively constructing their knowledge through social interaction rather than merely absorbing ideas directly. Piaget proposed that optimal learning occurs when an opposing viewpoint challenges the previous ...

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