Monday, March 17, 2008

rote learning and discovery learning are not opposites

Because rote learning and discovery learning are not opposites it follows that discovery learning is not the answer to the problem of a curriculum dominated with rote learning. eg. using a maths textbook to teach substitution into formula and solving.

A better way to look at it is:
  • rote and meaningful learning at opposite ends of one continuum
  • reception and discovery at opposite ends of another continuum

- from Learning how to Learn (1984) by Joseph Novak and Bob Gowin

The authors promote concept mapping and the knowledge Vee as solutions to transforming rote into meaningful learning. I have used both of these techniques with varying degrees of success. One limiting issue is that this is about propositional knowledge (knowing that). Knowing how, learning by doing is important too

IMO this does provide a theoretical insight into some of the limitations of the discovery or inquiry approach


lucychili said...

This reminds me of Bloom's taxonomy but as a process of becoming more confident to risk making a mistake in order to find an answer?

Remya Nair said...

I personally think that rote learning is disadvantages for students.