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Direct instruction or find out for yourself?

From Medical News Today:

“It turns out that there is a “double-edged sword” to pedagogy: Explicit instruction makes children less likely to engage in spontaneous exploration and discovery. A study by MIT researchers and colleagues compared the behavior of children given a novel toy under four different conditions, finding that children expressly taught one of its functions played with the toy for less time and discovered fewer things to do with it than children in the other three scenarios.”

The MNT article http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/230117.php gives a summary of the research (presenting children with novel, multi-function toys and seeing how many functions they find/use).
The full paper is available at: http://141.14.165.6/CogSci09/papers/340/paper340.pdf
Perhaps we shouldn’t tell our students so much stuff….

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