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Jerome S. Bruner

Discovery Learning according to Bruner:

Throughout many years numerous philosophers and psychologist have been associated with the theory and methods of discovery learning.  These different people had piggybacked their ideas, concepts and theories which all incorporate some form, of today's definition, of discovery learning.  However, it is Jerome Bruner who is most credited with the current detailed interpretation that we have of the discovery learning theory today.

Bruner wrote, "Emphasis on discovery in learning has precisely the effect on the learner of leading him to be a constructionist, to organize what he is encountering in a manner not only designed to discover regularity and relatedness, but also to avoid the kind of information drift that fails to keep account of the uses to which information might have to be put."

Developed and named by Bruner, discovery learning is a concept in which Bruner emphasizes the active role of the learner and the significance of meaningful interactions with the environment, an idea that was initially presented with Piaget and his hierarchical model of cognitive growth  (Sewell, 1990).

Biographical Information:

Jerome S. Bruner was born October 1, 1915 in New York. He is one of the best known and influential psychologists of the twentieth century. He was one of the key figures in the so called 'cognitive revolution' - but it is the field of education that his influence has been especially felt. His books The Process of Education and Towards a Theory of Instruction have been widely read and become recognized as classics, and his work on the social studies programme - Man: A Course of Study (MACOS) - in the mid-1960s is a landmark in curriculum development. More recently Bruner has come to be critical of the 'cognitive revolution' and has looked to the building of a cultural psychology that takes proper account of the historical and social context of participants. In his 1996 book The Culture of Education these arguments were developed with respect to schooling (and education more generally). 'How one conceives of education', he wrote, 'we have finally come to recognize, is a function of how one conceives of the culture and its aims, professed and otherwise' (Bruner 1996: ix-x). (Quoted in Smith, M.K., (2002) 'Jerome S. Bruner and the process of education', the encyclopedia of informal education Last updated: February 14, 2004.)