As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of inductive learning — the idea of providing examples so that students discover the concept or rule (in a scaffolded way) instead of the teacher providing the concept or rule and having students implement them (deductive learning).
I write extensively about how I apply this concept in the classroom in my book on teaching English Language Learners and in my upcoming book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges.
The great blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science (hosted at Discover), recounts a new set of experiments that demonstrate the importance of this instructional method in a post titled “When Teaching Restrains Discovery.”
It’s a little too extensive for me to explain here, so I’d encourage you to read the post there about a new paper describing the experiments. Here’s how the post ends:
Bonawitz [the lead researcher] quotes the famous child researchers Jean Piaget, who said that the “principal goal of education” was to create people “who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done”. If we’re going to do that ,we’ll need to find ways of encouraging that natural instinct to investigate, play and explore, rather than suppressing it…