Discovery Learning And Transfer Of Problem Solving Skills


McDaniel, M. A. & Schlager, M. S. (1990). Discovery learning and transfer of problem solving skills. Cognition and Instruction, 7(2), pp. 129-159, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.


Two experiments provide support for and further refinement of the hypothesis generated by a framework for understanding the effects of discovery learning on the transfer of problem-solving skills. The hypothesis states that (1) discovery should facilitate transfer to tasks requiring a novel strategy, but (2) may provide little benefit for tasks that can be completed only by applying the learned strategy. Data from 90 undergraduates (Exp 1) indicate that when transfer required new move sequences to implement a general strategy learned previously, discovery did not enhance transfer of that strategy. For 140 undergraduates (Exp 2), some transfer problems required using a strategy other than that learned in training. As predicted, in the transfer situation, having to discover a strategy while in training produced better transfer than being provided with a strategy in training. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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