Discovery Learning, Authentic Learning, and Kemp

Discovery learning

Dewey-knowing and doing are coupled, learning happens by doing the activity

Vygotdky-play is the world a child enters the world they want to inhabit.  When they succeed, it is fun

Papert-logo, development of children

Bruner-Harvard psychologist 1950s, discovery learning

Annie asked who our favorite philosopher is: I can answer that Dewey is one.  Learning by performing an activity or task works for me and I use this with my students in the lab.

Discovery learning is inquiry-based, not guided by people.

Why is it difficult for students to jump into discovery-based learning? There is no scaffolding, too little guidance, lack of peer interaction, exhausting on the memory.  This learning theory may be best suited for high school students and adult learners.  They have some base knowledge to build upon.  This type of learning can be valuable to develop a well-rounded learner.

The example was provided of giving a chemistry or math problem that is finished.  Providing the information on how this problem was solved can be an effective way of learning.

Authentic learning

Bringing a story to the classroom.

Are you interested in the connection between the freezing point of water and an ice cube tray?

Learning on a continuum from more authentic to less authentic.

Defined: a relevant, immersive, reflective experience.

Authentic learning: assignments that establish a clear connection between the content.  Instead of thinking about ideas for authentic learning, just look around the real world.


  1. Development, focus
    1. Guidelines
    2. Complex problems
    3. Role-play

Four themes: real world problems, inquiry and thinking skills, and discourse in a community of learners, student-directed learning

Putting yourself in the shoes of others

Pedagogy summary: authentic learning is learner-focused, the goal is to develop active learners, authentic tasks, and to keep the learner focused.

Kemp Model

  • Identify the instructional problem
  • Examine learner characteristics
  • Identify content
  • Identify objectives
  • Sequence content
  • Design instructional strategies
  • Plan the instructional message
  • Select resources

This is a flexible model.  There is no starting point and ending point.  It has a recursive aspect.  The Kemp model was the model unknowingly used in several large projects in the 90s and 2000s by a fellow student at UNT.

Josh posed the question: think of ways you can incorporate technology into your class.  I have the students volunteer to take over the teacher workstation and follow the tutorial as I lecture.  When the student has this hands-on experience, I believe it helps them learn the steps and doing the steps in front of the class builds confidence in performing the steps the next time.  I was able to relate to this theory.

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