Implementing a Productive Failure unit
Unlike the traditional, prevailing method of direct instruction, whereby students were first taught a new concept and its related procedures before solving problems related to the concept, the PF pedagogical design reverses the sequence. As shown in Figure 1, PF first engages students in solving a complex problem first and teaches them the canonical concept and procedures. Students will typically fail to generate or discover the correct solution(s) by themselves during the problem solving process. However, to the extent that students are able to use their prior knowledge to generate sub-optimal or even incorrect solutions to the problem, the process can be productive in preparing them to learn better from the subsequent instruction.