Discovering vs Instruction

Do you learn better when you discover something on your own, or when someone “teaches” you? Do you prefer a lecture or exploration? Certainly, there are times when a quick explanation is efficient and convenient, however for decades, studies have shown that in general, we learn best when we discover new information ourselves. Here is one such study where a new toy is introduced to 3 and 4 year olds in two different ways. As parents and teachers, we should all be keeping in mind how we inspire interest, as well as how we can extinguish interest. Sometimes it’s a bit counter-intuitive.  I might add that a Montessori teacher does exactly what this article suggests: s/he “discovers” a material in front of the child and demonstrates curiosity about how the material works.  Then it’s the child’s turn…

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