What is Constructivism?• Constructivism theory believes... – Learners construct knowledge for themselves as they learn. – Students learn by doing.• It is often described as a theory of… – The way people create meaning through individual constructs. – Knowledge with roots in philosophy, psychology, and cybernetics.
What is Constructivism?• Two important points in constructivism say… – Focus on the learner, not the subject. – There is no knowledge independent of the knower.• Constructivism learning theory is based on… – A philosophy which enhances students logical and conceptual growth.
Who?• There are four leading theorists of constructivism. – Jean Piaget – Jerome Bruner – Lev Vygotsky – John Dewey
Jean Piaget• Jean Piaget profoundly influenced the constructivist movement.• He believed children… – Think very differently than adults. – Were active learners who didn’t need motivation. – Constructed new knowledge as they moved through stages.
Jean Piaget• His four cognitive stages are… – Sensorimotor-children learn through senses and motor activities – Preoperational-children begin to use symbols and images – Concrete Operational-children begin to think logically – Formal Operational-children transition to abstract thinking
Others• Jerome Bruner… – believes that constructivist learners are participatory learners. • They are actively engaged in the learning process. – His theory provides a framework for cognition. • Cognition suggests an individual progresses through intellectual stages.• Lev Vygotsky… – believed learning was influenced by social development.
Others• Dewey believed… – Learning should expand the experiences of the learners. – Education was a social process, like Vygotsky. – Students should be allowed to create, construct, and inquire. – Learning was student-directed, teachers are just guides.• He founded the University Elementary School.
How?• Based on the constructivism theory teachers must… – Acknowledge all students don’t learn in the same way. – Implement a variety of learning styles. – Encourage communication between themselves and their students. – Remember students have prior knowledge and experiences.
How?• When creating a lesson remember… – Largely lecture based teaching has significant limitations. – Visual and audio stimuli are good • Make sure students don’t get lost or lose interest. – Always give time for students to ask questions. – Prior knowledge is not always correct. – Use more than one learning method.
My Classroom• Constructivism will be incorporated in my classroom by… – Groupwork – Letting students teach each other – Teaching in a fun and interesting way – Incorporating many different learning styles to each lesson.
My Classroom• Some aspects of constructivism I may not use… – Constructivism avoids direct instruction from the teacher. • There are times when direct instruction is necessary – The teacher is not seen as an authority figure. • Having authority in a classroom is important• Young students need instruction and discipline to succeed.