Saturday, April 28, 2012
Time Magazine has an article highlighting a study from Singapore showing that students who struggle with problems before being given solved or "structured" examples recall the material better.
The students in the study were in 11th grade, and the content involved Newtonian mechanics (basic physics). The study gave students an "ill structured" problem to solve in groups before giving them some more explicit individual problems. They didn't do very well on the ill structured problems, but they then outperformed a group that did not have the initial struggle.
Here is a similar paper by one of the same authors that is available online (study done on 7th graders).