Jerome Bruner (1915 - )
Constructivism & Discovery Learning
Born New York City, October 1, 1915. He received his A.B. degree from Duke University in 1937 and his Ph.D in 1947 from Harvard. He was on the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.from 1952 - 1972.
In 1960 Bruner published The Process of Education. This was a landmark book which led to much experimentation and a broad range of educational programs in the 1960's. Howard Gardner and other young researchers worked under Bruner and were much-influenced by his work. In the early 70's Bruner left Harvard to teach at University of Oxford for several years (1972 - 1979). He returned to Harvard in 1979.
Later he joined the New York University of Law, where he is a senior research fellow (at the age of 93). Four features of Bruner's theory of instruction.
1. Predisposition to learn.... This feature specifically states the experiences which move the learner toward a love of learning in general, or of learning something in particular. Motivational, cultural, and personal factors contribute to this. Bruner emphasized social factors and early teachers and parents' influence on this. He believed learning and problem solving emerged out of exploration. Part of the task of a teacher is to maintain and direct a child's spontaneous explorations.
2. Structure of knowledge....it is possible to structure knowledge in a way that enables the learner to most readily grasp the information. This is a relative feature, as there are many ways to structure a body of knowledge and many preferences among learners. Bruner offered considerable detail about structuring knowledge.
Understanding the fundamental structure of a subject makes it more comprehensible. Bruner viewed categorization as a fundamental process in the structuring of knowledge. (See the section below on categorization.)
Details are better retained when placed within the contest of an ordered and...
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