> At 12:43 PM 10/7/2010, Jonathan Groves wrote: > >Wayne, > > > >So any form of inquiry-based learning is not honest? > Just because some > >teachers botch it by either taking it way too far or > using it > >inappropriately or otherwise not using such learning > techniques skillfully > >proves that inquiry-based learning does not work, > that such learning must > >be fake? > > No, but too much of it is. And any of it mandated by > the state or > nation by decree, by financial support of curricula, > or by > unconventional assessments (not verified to correlate > with future > success in the discipline) most definitely is. Thanks > for asking, > > Wayne
Certainly mandating discovery learning in these ways is a bad idea because it is not essential to good teaching and because it is easy to botch in the hands of inexperienced teachers. Teachers who do not feel comfortable using discovery learning should think twice before trying to use it. In short, discovery learning can be a useful approach to teaching and can be highly beneficial to students, but it is not essential to good teaching. And, like any approach to teaching, discovery learning is best seen as something that can augment teaching and learning and does not have to be seen as an "all or nothing" approach. Johnson and Rising's book "Guidelines for Teaching Mathematics" does not mention much about discovery learning, but they do point out that discovery learning is not appropriate in certain cases. It would be good if they had mentioned more specifics such as discovery learning is not appropriate for those ideas that would require a mathematical genius or near genius to discover with little or no assistance from the teacher or from others who already know those ideas. Perhaps the authors felt that such comments are not necessary. But they are necessary for those who want to try to push discovery learning too far. Any teaching method, whether discovery learning or anything else, used to extremes leads to problems.