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Can Discovery and Intuition Be Taught?

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1 Author(s)
D. Wolaver ; Adjunct professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA 01609, dwolaver@wpi.edu

A course on teaching engineering provided an opportunity to investigate how to teach through discovery. One of the results was to organize the method into four steps: the teacher discovers, realizes how he or she discovers, guides the student in a similar experience, and uncovers why the student did so poorly. Following this method, the students in the class showed a natural skill in using discovery when dealing with math puzzles, but they lost that sense when dealing with their engineering discipline. We look at the reasons for this and list road-blocks that keep discovery from being generally taught. This paper looks at methods to shorten the time and increase the success of teaching discovery. It seeks a balance in which some material is presented in the traditional lecture mode, but some material the students are allowed to discover for themselves

Published in:

Proceedings Frontiers in Education 35th Annual Conference

Date of Conference:

19-22 Oct. 2005