Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Editorial Team
Are you bored with the old-fashioned “lecture and recite” teaching method? Do you want to give your students a chance to participate in their learning actively and meaningfully explore novel ideas? If so, discovery learning might be your best option.
Education that promotes the learner’s role in creating their understanding of a subject is discovery learning. It is predicated on the notion that, as opposed to being told what to study, people learn best when actively engaged in the learning process and are free to find new information independently.
In this post, we’ll explore the advantages of discovery learning, some research-based facts, and whether discovery learning can be beneficial for learners with learning disabilities.
Discovery learning: A form of inquiry-based learning?
A teaching method characterized as inquiry-based learning encourages students to actively and practically explore ideas and concepts. It focuses on student-driven inquiry and encourages students to pose questions, look for solutions, and make decisions based on the facts.
Discovery learning is a form of active learning involving problem-solving and practical experience in an environment where students can learn themselves with little support. Students are expected to explore.
Imagine a science class in which the teacher has introduced the concept of photosynthesis. Instead of simply lecturing on the topic, the teacher poses a question to the students: “How do plants turn sunlight into energy?” The students are then given the opportunity to explore this question through a variety of activities, such as conducting experiments, researching online, and discussing the topic with their classmates.
As they work through these activities, the students are encouraged to ask questions, make connections, and draw their own conclusions about the process of photosynthesis. The teacher plays an active role in guiding the students’ learning by providing resources and support, but ultimately the students are responsible for discovering the answers to the question through their own exploration and investigations.
Unlock learning potential with discovery learning
Discovery learning is a teaching strategy that emphasizes the student’s responsibility for actively seeking out new information and encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving skills. According to research, discovery learning can be an effective way to promote deep learning and understanding, particularly for older students and those who are highly motivated.
However, it can also be challenging for some students as it requires a high level of independence and self-motivation. Additionally, it can be more time-consuming compared to other teaching methods. While discovery learning can be a useful approach for certain learners and types of subjects, it may not be suitable for all learners or all subjects. Nevertheless. there are various potential benefits of using the approach to teaching in the classroom:
- Promotes higher-order thinking and problem-solving abilities: When students are given a chance to learn new information, they are forced to employ these abilities to make sense of the content.
- Encourages pupils to take personal responsibility for their education: Students who actively participate in the learning process are more likely to feel invested in their education and to remember what they have learned.
- Increases motivation and engagement: Because students can participate actively in the learning process rather than passively listening to presentations or reading materials, discovery learning can be more exciting for learners. Teachers can also use a few quotes for added zeal and enthusiasm.
- Fosters creativity and innovation: Students participating in discovery learning are encouraged to think critically and generate original answers to challenges, which can create fresh concepts and breakthroughs.
- Helps students learn how to learn: Students build the abilities they need to be lifelong learners by actively engaging in the discovery process they are encouraged to ask questions and seek out answers, which teaches them how to identify and evaluate knowledge and helps to foster natural curiosity and a love of learning.
Can the learning method be helpful for kids with learning disabilities too?
For children with learning difficulties, discovery learning can be beneficial but also bring some challenges. When choosing the best learning strategy, it is crucial to consider each student’s unique requirements and talents.
Kids with learning difficulties may benefit from exploration learning since it can let them learn at their own pace and style. Additionally, it can encourage a sense of ownership and control over the learning process, empowering students who would find it difficult to study using conventional teaching techniques.
However, for discovery learning to be successful, it may also take more time and necessitate extra help and direction. Explicit training or tutoring may be beneficial for certain children with learning problems.
Overall, Discovery learning is an effective strategy that can aid students in gaining thorough comprehension, critical thinking abilities, and a passion for learning. It is a strategy that educators who want to give their students compelling and meaningful learning experiences should give serious consideration to.
When adopting discovery learning in the classroom, it’s crucial to set clear learning goals or objectives, provide a space that promotes inquiry and cooperation, offer help and direction when needed, and periodically evaluate students’ progress. To ensure that children with learning difficulties can fully engage in the discovery learning process, offering them additional support and accommodations may be beneficial.
- Svinicki, M. D. (1998). A theoretical foundation for discovery learning. Advances in Physiology Education, 275(6), S4. https://doi.org/10.1152/advances.1998.275.6.s4
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn