KEY PEOPLE IN CONSTRUCTIVISMJean Piaget• Originally a biologist who studied mollusks• Switched to the development of children’s understanding• Developed the cognitive learning theory• Believed children learned new things in different stages and created four cognitive stages• Also believed children learn through adaptation, assimilation, and accommodation
KEY PEOPLE IN CONSTRUCTIVISMJerome Bruner• American psychologist and educator• Believed that learning is an active process where the learner constructs new ideas based on current or past knowledge• Emphasized on integrated curriculum and technology offers many strategies for a constructive environment• His theory states that teachers should engage their students in their own learning
KEY PEOPLE IN CONSTRUCTIVISMLev Vygotsky• Russian educational psychologist• Social Development Theory is one of the foundations of constructivism• Developed social cognition• Focused on children’s cognitive development and believed they had a zone of proximal development (ZPD).• ZPD: the gap between what a child can already do and what they can do with help from a more experienced person• Also proposed new ways of teaching using scaffolding
KEY PEOPLE IN CONSTRUCTIVISMJohn Dewey• Educational psychologist, philosopher, and political advocate for child-centered instruction• Believed education was a social process• Stated students learned by doing and should be allowed to construct, create, and inquire• Founded the Laboratory school and many others• He has been called The Father of Education
KEY PEOPLE IN CONSTRUCTIVISMGiambattista Vico• Published articles in the 1700’s about education• Concepts deal with the relationship between truth, knowledge, and origins of language and the desire of the human mind to create knowledge• Through his writings the word “constructivist” comes about
KEY POINT OF CONSTRUCTIVISM• Knowledge is acquired by personal experiences and observations of the environment.• Four theories of constructivism• Social Development Theory - 3 Themes • Social interaction plays an essential role in the process of cognitive development • Someone who is more knowledgeable than the learner • The ability of the students to complete a task with and without guidance• Communities of Practice Theory • Learning that occurs within a group of people who have a common interest
KEY POINT OF CONSTRUCTIVISM• Discovery Learner Theory • Learn by handling objects, critical thinking, or experiments • More likely to remember what you learned if you discovered it yourself• Stage Theory of Cognitive Development - 4 stages in children • Sensorimotor - birth to age 2 - Building of understanding of oneself through interaction with environment • Preoperational - ages 2-7 - Objects are classified in simple ways • Concrete Operational - ages 7-11 - Thinking begins to become abstract and conceptual • Formal Operational - ages 11 and older - Capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning
CLASSROOM IMPLICATIONS: TEACHERS • Try to use raw data and primary sources, in addition to manipulative, interactive, and physical materials. (Computers, eReaders and movies are technology that could be used here) • When assigning tasks to the students, use cognitive terminology such as "classify," "analyze," "predict," and "create.“ • Encourage communication between the teacher and the students and also between the students.
CLASSROOM IMPLICATIONS: TEACHERS • Encourage student critical thinking and inquiry by asking them thoughtful, open-ended questions, and encourage them to ask questions to each other. • Ask follow up questions and seek elaboration after a students initial response. • Make sure to wait long enough after posing a question so that the students have time to think about their answers and be able to respond thoughtfully. • Provide enough time for students to construct their own meaning when learning something new.
CLASSROOM IMPLICATIONS: STUDENTS • Under the constructivist theory, students are active learners. • They learn by doing, practicing and by exploring. • The role of the student is primarily to assimilate whatever the teacher presents. • Teachers can use the constructivist theory with or without technology.
CLASSROOM IMPLICATIONS: STUDENTSWith technology students can:• Complete Web Quests, scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, or curriculum pages.• Research topics by using online books, videos, and other digital media.• Use electronic flash cards• Use netbooks to write findings in a word document, spreadsheets or create PowerPoint presentations.
CLASSROOM IMPLICATIONS: STUDENTSWithout technology students can:• Draw on his or her own past experience and existing knowledge to discover facts, relationships and new truths to be learned.• Students interact with the world by exploring and manipulating objects, wrestling with questions and controversies, and performing experiments.• Work as self-directed, active investigators and problem-solvers in small collaborative groups
CONSTRUCTIVISM AND TEACHING Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” When students learn by the constructivism theory it encourages them to use their critical thinking skills to create, analyze, and solve their own problems. Personally this is my choice of learning theory when teaching my students. I believe that students learn more by doing rather than listening to a teacher talk all day. When it comes toyounger students like the elementary age, I feel that they’re more likely to engage in a learning activity verses sitting still and listening. There are many great activities you can do with your students. Some ideas include, using technology to create digital books or presentations, vocabulary bingo, you can play jeopardy when reviewing for a test, etc. Anything that will get your students actively involved in the classroom will be effective.
CREDITShttp://mason.gmu.edu/~wwarrick/Portfolio/Products/constructivism.htmlhttp://www.learning-theories.com/http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/constructivism.htm - information and picture of ZPDhttp://techforinstructionandassessment.wikispaces.com/Constructivism - Piaget picturehttp://computerbasicsebook.com/computer-basics-introduction-to-computers/ - picture of computerhttp://www.clipartguide.com/_pages/0511-0909-0119-4524.html - teacher/computer cliparthttp://www.nded.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Constructivist%20_Learni ng.htmShelly, Gary B. Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom. Boston, MA: Thomson/Course Technology, 2010. 376- 90. Print.