Hattie and Yates on discovery learning and low ability students

From experience to meaning...

Chapter 9 of the new book by Hattie and Yates has probably one of the more controversial paragraphs in the book. While many people defend discovery learning, Hattie and Yates go to great length why this is a wrong assumption with the lack of research supporting this idea.

One element, I think, is very relevant:

“For instance, several studies have found that low ability students will prefer discovery learning lessons to direct-instruction-based lessons, but learn less from them. Under conditions of low guidance, the knowledge gap between low and high ability students tend to increase. The lack of direct guidance has greater damaging effects on learning in low ability students especially when procedures are unclear, feedback is reduced, and misconceptions remain as problems to be resolved rather than errors to be corrected.”

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