Contributors to Constructivism Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Developed four cognitive stages (Sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, formal operational) Adaptation, Assimilation, Accomodation Jerome Bruner (1915- ) “Theoretical concept of cognition suggests an individual progresses through different intellectual stages”; Socratic Method Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) Developed Social Cognition-learning influenced significantly by social development; Collaborative Learning John Dewey (1859-1952) Part of Progressive Education movement in 1900’s which focused on educating the whole child physically, mentally and socially
Key Points of Constructivism Students learn by doing Based on a type of learning in which the learner forms, or constructs, much of what they learn or comprehend Learning is an active, constructive process Knowledge is gained through personal experience Great Emphasis on Social Interaction Important Terms Associated with Constructivism Adaptation is the learners cognitive understanding or development at any given time Assimilation is when children assimilate new knowledge as they experience new things and learn new information The way in which children fit the information into their lives to change their knowledge and make sense of their environment is called Accommodation
Continued Cognition is a theoretical concept that suggests an individual progresses through different intellectual stages Socratic Method is “when students learn how to analyze problems, to think critically about their own point of view and the opinions of others, as well as to articulate and defend their position” Spiral Curriculum is a way in which curriculum should be organized so that students constantly are building on top of what they already know Zone of Proximal Development – the difference between the problem solving ability that a child has learned and that which they can learn from working with a more advanced peer group
Classroom Implications Without Technology Conduct science experiments Take the students on various field trips Assign multiple group projects Use the library/magazines/etc to have the students make “brown bag” presentations Have students interview people in different jobs and positions in the community and present their findings to the class Incorporate real life situations to the classroom Facilitate class discussions
My Thoughts I think the theory of Constructivism is extremely relevant. All of the social interaction and hands on learning allows the student to grasp the information presented in the best way for them. In addition, collaborative learning is extremely beneficial to both the less advanced and more advanced students. There is always a greater understanding when you personally teach it. The collaborative learning is also good because it gives students the opportunity to see things from another persons perspective which may have been different than the way they themselves had seen it. This theory would be great for Kinesthetic learners and students with ADD. It gets them out of the traditional lecture setting and gets them involved. I believe that Constructivism can also help break cultural barriers and embrace diversity through interaction and exchanging of ideas.
Classroom Implications What the Teacher Does in the Classroom? With Technology Create Student-Centered Activities – Web Quests, Scavenger & Treasure Hunts, Curriculum Pages, etc. Facilitate a classroom or learning area that is conducive to hands on learning through digital media (cameras, computers, books, etc) where students can work together to grasp concepts that are traditionally taught through lecture Go on Internet Field Trips, Use the internet to research topics The teacher is used to guide the students with appropriate resources to form their own understanding
Continued This theory would be great for Kinesthetic learners and students with ADD. It gets them out of the traditional lecture setting and gets them involved. I believe that Constructivism can also help break cultural barriers and embrace diversity through interaction and exchanging of ideas.
Works Cited Atherton J S (2009) Learning and Teaching; Angles on learning, particularly after the schooling years [On-line] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/index.htm Accessed: 17 April 2010 Gunter, Glenda; Gunter, Rudolph; Shelly, Gary. Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom. Boston: Course Technology, 2010. Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2010, April). Constructivism at Learning-Theories.com. Retrieved April 18th, 2010 from http://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html Images from Microsoft PowerPoint Clip Art