WHAT IS GUIDED DISCOVERY?
“Guided discovery is an approach to instruction in which the
teacher presents students with examples of a specific topic and
guides students to an understanding of that topic” ( Eggen and
Kauchak, 2012, p. 128)
Four key Phases
1] Introduction – Hook (engage) the students in the topic
2] Open-ended – Students compare and observe examples/non-
3] Convergent – Teacher directs students questions to the specific
4] Closure and Application – Teacher clarifies new concepts
and students apply knowledge.
WHY GUIDED DISCOVERY
• Guided discovery requires students to use critical
• “students’ understanding of the topic became deeper as they
practice critical thinking” (Eggen & Kauchak, 2012, p. 145).
• The teacher does not lecture or tell the students the
concepts. Students use hands-on activities and are asked to find a
pattern or connection among the concepts. As Eggen & Kauchak
(2012) note, “people are intrinsically motivated by activities and
experiences that evoke curiosity, challenge, and a sense of the
unknown. “ (p. 146).
• Teacher uses open-ended questions to guide the students
to correct information.
GUIDED DISCOVERY COMPARED TO…
N E W A M E R I C A N
L E C T U R E
• NAL focus on visual organizer-
not student exploration of a
• NAL must re-group students
every five-ten minutes to recap
what students have learned,
but Guided Discovery allows
for more independent learning.
• Both include a hook or a
strong way to engage students
to the topic.
C O N C E P T AT TA I N M E N T
• Focus is primarily on
examples/non-examples (only a
part of guided discovery).
should be concrete, which is
not always easy with high
school math concepts.
• Both include an application as
the final step, where students
demonstrate an understanding
of the new concept.
WHAT ABOUT DIRECT INSTRUCTION?
S T E P S
1. Teacher models new
2. Teacher uses
questions to go
3. Students practice with
4. Independent practice
“In teaching skills, the ultimate goal is to
move students from dependence on
teacher to self-directed application” (
Silver, Strong & Perini, 2007, p. 38).
Guided Discovery moves students away
from being dependent on the teacher.
Students will make a deeper connection
with the material when they have an
experience they can associate it with.
USE GUIDED DISCOVERY
• Guided discovery cannot be used for every concept, but should be
included when possible.
• Forces students to think critical and allows a better understanding
to the material.
• Technology can and should be included when possible.
• Examples/Non-examples allow students to make connections.
Eggen, P. & Kauchak, D. (2012). Strategies and models for teachers.
Silver, H. F., Strong, R. W., & Perini, M. J. (2007). The strategic teacher.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum