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Alfieri, L. et al. (2011) Does discovery-based instruction enhance learning? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Discovery learning approaches to education have recently come under scrutiny (Tobias & Duffy, 2009), with many studies indicating limitations to discovery learning practices. Therefore, 2 meta-analyses were conducted using a sample of 164 studies: The 1st examined the effects of unassisted discovery learning versus explicit instruction, and the 2nd examined the effects of enhanced and/or assisted discovery versus other types of instruction (e.g., explicit, unassisted discovery). Random effects analyses of 580 comparisons revealed that outcomes were favorable for explicit instruction when compared with unassisted discovery under most conditions (d = –0.38, 95% CI [−.44, −.31]). In contrast, analyses of 360 comparisons revealed that outcomes were favorable for enhanced discovery when compared with other forms of instruction (d = 0.30, 95% CI [.23, .36]). The findings suggest that unassisted discovery does not benefit learners, whereas feedback, worked examples, scaffolding, and elicited explanations do. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
103
Page/s:
1-18
Synonyms:
  • Guided-play
  • Meta-analysis
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
  • Learning
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Zosh, J. et al. (2018) Accessing the Inaccessible: Redefining Play as a Spectrum (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Defining play has plagued researchers and philosophers for years. From describing play as an inaccessible concept due to its complexity, to providing checklists of features, the field has struggled with how to conceptualize and operationalize “play.” This theoretical piece reviews the literature about both play and learning and suggests that by viewing play as a spectrum – that ranges from free play (no guidance or support) to guided play and games (including purposeful adult support while maintaining playful elements), we better capture the true essence of play and explain its relationship to learning. Insights from the Science of Learning allow us to better understand why play supports learning across social and academic domains. By changing the lens through which we conceptualize play, we account for previous findings in a cohesive way while also proposing new avenues of exploration for the field to study the role of learning through play across age and context.

Date:
January 2018
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
9
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Playful learning
  • Guided-play
  • Literature review
  • Play with other adult
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: