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(p. 126)The hypothetical mode leads to students engaging in acts of discovery, a process that Bruner sees as having four benefits: (1) increasing intellectual powers; (2) shifting from extrinsic to intrinsic rewards; (3) learning the heuristics of discovering; and (4) making material more readily accessible in memory. This mode is more congruent with and more likely to nurture the will to learn.Bruner conveys the operational aspects of discovery teaching by describing it in action in case studies of actual courses. But Postman and Weingartner (1969) provide the following list of behaviors observable in teachers using the inquiry method:The teacher rarely tells students what he thinks they ought to know. He believes that telling, when used as a basic teaching strategy, deprives students of the excitement of doing their own finding and of the opportunity for increasing their poweras learners.
His basic mode of discourse with students is questioning. While he uses both convergent and divergent questions, he regards the latter as the more important tool. He emphaticallydoes not view questions as a means of seducing students into parroting the text or syllabus; rather, he sees questions as instruments to open engaged minds to unsuspected possibilities.Generally, he does not accept a single statement as an answerto a question. In fact, he has a persisting aversion to anyone, any syllabus, any text that offers The Right Answer. Not because answers and solutions are unwelcome—indeed, he is trying to help students be more efficient problem solvers—but because he knows how often The Right Answer serves only to terminate further thought. He knows the power of pluralizing. He does not ask for the reason, but for the reasons. Not for the cause, but the causes. Never the meaning, what are the meanings? He knows, too, the power of contingent thinking. He is the most It dependslearner in his class.He encourages student/student interaction as opposed to student/teacher interaction. And generally he avoids acting asa mediator or judge of the quality of ideas expressed. If each person could have with him at all times a full roster of authorities, perhaps it would not be necessary for individuals
to make independent judgments. But so long as this is not possible, the individual must learn to depend on himself as a thinker. The inquiry teacher is interested in students developing their own criteria or standards for judging the quality, precision, and relevance of ideas. He permits such development to occur by minimizing his role as arbiter of what is acceptable and what is not.He rarely summarizes the positions taken by students on the learnings that occur. He recognizes that the act of summary, of closure, tends to have the effect of ending further thought. Because he regards learning as a process, not a terminal event, his summariesare apt to be stated as hypotheses, tendencies, and directions. He assumes that no one ever learns once and for all how to write, or how to read, or what were the causes of the Civil War. Rather, he assumes that one is always in the