Cognitive Tools to Support Discovery Learning
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Discovery learning is seen as a promising way of learning for several reasons, the main being that the active involvement of the learner with the domain would result in a better knowledge base. Because learners can design their own experiments in the domain and infer the rules of the domain themselves they are actually constructing their knowledge will understand the domain at a higher level than when the necessary information is just presented by a teacher. In practice, it is very hard to find solid evidence for this hypothesis. For instance, when learners are confronted with a simulation of a physics domain, and are asked to discover themselves which physical laws can explain the phenomena that can be observed, many learners will not reach a satisfactory result. The reason for this is not necessarily that the idea of discovery learning is not a good idea at all, but it indicates that learners need more than just the domain to learn about it.