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The Pedagogy of Discovery

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According to Steven Mintz, Executive Director of the University of Texas System's Institute for Transformation Learning, it isn't just education that's changing: it's pedagogy. He recalls Jerome Bruner's work in the early 1960s which found that the standard pedagogy of the era, knowledge transmission, needed to be revised. He suggested "discovery learning," which emphasizes learning through inquiry and team work instead of passive reception. Professor Mintz believes its time for another change: as he wrote in a recent post for Inside Higher Ed, "The time is ripe to move toward Pedagogy 3.0: a pedagogy of collaboration, creativity, and invention which treats students not simply as learners but as creators of knowledge."

Mintz notes that the way undergraduate institutions work, they only really serve one out of three subgroups they should be serving: those struggling without proper preparation and faced with other demands, and potential students who are currently workin adults and full-time caretakers, often go unserved. The Pedagogy of Discovery, according to Professor Mintz, would help address these gaps. Instead of treating college students as passive, it treats them as "knowledge creators whose school work needs to be meaningul and subject to vetting not just by a single professor but a broader audience."

He suggests seven "technology-enhanced options" that instructors can use to get students engaged with the Pedagogy of Discovery. Some of his suggestions include a virtual visual tour, pairing classrooms across institutional boundaries, collaboratively annotating texts, and crafting multimodal digital stories. These strategies let students practice their disciplines, rather than just being instructed, and can be adapted to make use of technologies accessible in traditional, blended, and wholly online classrooms.

For the full post and to read more about Professor Mintz's suggestions for learning through discovery, read the article on Inside Higher Ed.