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Discovery Learning—Jerome Bruner

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Science Education in Theory and Practice

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Cognitive constructivist theory of learning has been influential since the 1950s. Jerome Bruner was one of the pioneers of cognitive constructivism and his book in 1960, the Process of Education, had a huge impact on educational policies for a century. This chapter is about cognitive constructivism and one of its significant methods of learning, namely, Discovery Learning. Throughout, the background and guidance to Discovery Learning as an instructional model for science learning is explicated with its implications for science education. It is argued that the main aim in science education is not to make the students memorize the scientific knowledge but assist them to acquire the scientific attitudes, skills, and knowledge that they need to understand the world around them, to solve the problems they will encounter, and to make informed decisions related to scientific and socio-scientific issues. The research by Jerome Bruner was focused on this aim and his research improved our understanding of knowledge construction through symbolic representations, scaffolding, and discovery. His ideas led to the movements of ‘learning how to learn’ and ‘learning by doing’ which are still the pivots of science education. This chapter will guide the readers with suggestions for the use of discovery learning in science teaching.

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Correspondence to Yasemin Ozdem-Yilmaz .

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Further Reading List

Further Reading List

Bruner, J. (1960). The process of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, J. S. (1961). The act of discovery. Harvard educational review.

Bruner, J. (1966). Toward a theory of instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, J. (1973). Going beyond the information given. New York: Norton.

Bruner, J. S. (1978). The role of dialogue in language acquisition. In A. Sinclair, R. J. Jarvelle, & W. J. M. Levelt (Eds.), The child’s concept of language. New York: Springer.

Bruner, J. (1983). Child’s talk: Learning to use language. New York: Norton.

Bruner, J. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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Ozdem-Yilmaz, Y., Bilican, K. (2020). Discovery Learning—Jerome Bruner. In: Akpan, B., Kennedy, T.J. (eds) Science Education in Theory and Practice. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-43619-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-43620-9

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