Constructivism: Seymour Papert, John Dewey inspired by Jean Piaget. By: BJM
What is Constructivism? R.O.Y.G.B.I.V.
Constructivism is a philosophy of learning by reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world we live in. Each of us generates our own rules and mental models. Learning, therefore, is simply the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experiences .
What is Constructivism? Cont.
Learning is a search for meaning. Therefore, learning must start with the issues around which students are actively trying to construct meaning.
Meaning requires understanding wholes as well as parts. And parts must be understood in the context of wholes. Therefore, the learning process focuses on primary concepts, not isolated facts.
What is Constructivism? Cont.
In order to teach, we must understand the mental models that students use to perceive the world and the assumptions they make to support those models.
The purpose of learning is for an individual to construct his or her own meaning, not just memorize the “right” answers and regurgitate someone else’s meaning. Since education is inherently interdisciplinary, the only valuable way to measure learning is to make the assessment part of the learning process.
Constructivism in the Classroom..
A constructivist learning setting differs greatly from one based on the traditional model. In the constructivist classroom the teacher becomes a guide for the learner, providing bridging or helping to extend the learner's zone of proximal development. The student is encouraged to develop metacognitive skills such as reflective thinking and problem solving. The independent learner is intrinsically motivated to generate or discover framework of their knowledge.
Constructivism in the Classroom cont.
Students primarily work in groups.
Curriculum is presented part to whole, with emphasis on basic skills.
Pursuit of student questions is highly valued.
Curriculum is presented with emphasis on basic skills.
Curriculum is presented with emphasis on the big concept.
Curricular activities rely heavily on textbooks.
Constructivism and Teachers
Teachers generally behave in an interactive manner mediating the environment for students.
Teachers seek the student's point of view in order to understand student learning for use in subsequent conceptions.
Teachers generally behave in a didactic manner, disseminating information to students.
Teachers seek the correct answers to validate student lessons.
Constructivism and Students
Assessment of student learning is interwoven with teaching and occurs through teacher observation of students at work and through exhibitions and portfolios.
Assessment of student learning is viewed as separate from teaching and occurs almost entirely through testing.
How do I feel about Constructivism?
Constructivism is basically a theory based on observation and scientific study about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.
You might look at it as a spiral. When they continuously reflect on their experiences, students find their ideas gaining in complexity and power, and they develop increasingly strong abilities to integrate new information. One of the teacher's main roles becomes to encourage this learning and reflection process.