Western Michigan University researchers have discovered that in the academic debate over whether young science students learn more through experimenting or direct instruction, there's little difference.
Neither teaching approach provides a significant advantage for middle school science students, according to research by three Western Michigan University faculty who will present their findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting Feb. 12-16 in Chicago.
So what would be the most important factor in students understanding the material?
In comparing the two methods of instruction, they found there actually was no significant difference in learning by students. More important, they say, was having a positive attitude toward science, a well-designed curriculum and good teachers.