Constructivism an educational theory

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Constructivism an educational theory

  1. 1. ‘ Constructivism’ The educator as Facilitator Educational Theory (1) National Liaisons Workshop ITOCA / BLDS
  2. 2. Constructivism - Objectives <ul><li>By the end of this session, you will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know what constructivism is? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand why it is important to trainers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand how to apply its approach to your work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin to understand the theory behind the student-centred approach </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Constructivism <ul><li>“ Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand” </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese Proverb </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Constructivism? <ul><li>Teaching & training theory based on research about how individuals learn </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the idea: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals construct knowledge (personal construct theory – Kelly 1955) through: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding past experiences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflecting on past experiences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adding a greater degree of detail to existing knowledge [1] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fill in knowledge gaps & go beyond information given (Bruner) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Combining new knowledge into personal understanding of reality [2] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>MacKeracher (2004) Making sense of adult learning, 2 nd edn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is constructivism? <ul><li>Modern Constructivists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lev Vigotsky </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Construction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>emphasized the effects of one’s environment (family, friends, culture & background) have on learning </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jerome Bruner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Constructivism & Cognitivism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bruner’s 5 E’s </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kolb “Learning Cycle or Experiential learning cycle” </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Kolb et al <ul><li>Experiences play a central role in learning process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life, work, education or play </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideas are formed and re-formed continuously through learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Bring our own ideas and preconceptions to learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is an iterative process </li></ul><ul><li>Kolb, Rubin and Osland (1991) Organizational Behaviour: an experiential approach, 5 th edn. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why it is important to trainers? <ul><li>Trainer’s role: Act as a facilitator & resource person </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals learn best through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploration or enquiry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Active’ rather than ‘passive’ learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ student-centred’, participative approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Co-) Constructing meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased sense of ‘autonomy’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent learners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Useful in a variety of settings </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom, lecture halls etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Modern Constructivist <ul><li>Jerome Bruner most recent contributor </li></ul><ul><li>Bruner’s five E’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elaborate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate </li></ul></ul>               Jerome Bruner
  9. 9. Engage <ul><li>Engage students and get them interested in learning </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss in pairs: how would you motivate learners? 5 minutes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the student identify his/her own learning needs & then pursue them? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning pace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student’s ideas / questions welcomed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiate learning needs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student construct knowledge? Progress trial & error? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for reflection? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Explore <ul><li>Get directly involved in learning approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work in ‘teams’ or ‘pairs’ </li></ul><ul><li>Act as a facilitator (or resource person) </li></ul><ul><li>Use enquiry (or discovery) to drive learning process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enquiry-based learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Learning driven by a process of enquiry..” </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Explain <ul><li>Explanations come from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students learning together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider uses of ICT </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trainer introduces concepts and vocabulary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trainer determines levels of understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarifies concepts if misconceptions exist </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning approaches (assist AfL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students’ set own research topics / essay </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with problem-solving assignments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creating own questions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Elaborate <ul><li>Students expand on concepts learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill in gaps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apply understanding to own environment & real world problems </li></ul><ul><li>Make connections </li></ul><ul><li>Connections lead to further inquiry & new understandings </li></ul>
  13. 13. Evaluate <ul><li>Can occur at all points of the instructional process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formative (used by students to measure learning progress (reflective) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rubrics (Peer Assessment) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher observations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student interviews </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summative (formal assessment event that contributes to the award of a grade and/or mark) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Used to guide further training plans </li></ul>
  14. 14. To summarize: Constructivist theory is.. <ul><li>Learning is active </li></ul><ul><li>Student-centred & enquiry-based </li></ul><ul><li>Act as a facilitator, not a record player </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is achieved through exploration </li></ul><ul><li>Learning happens if it is interesting! </li></ul><ul><li>Use 5 E’s to put students at centre of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Appeals to past experiences (reflective) </li></ul><ul><li>Makes learning cyclical or incremental </li></ul>
  15. 15. Problem-solving IL scenario <ul><li>“ You have a friend who is interested in setting using a social networking tool to promote their research (e.g. Facebook). They are worried about the dangers, including: plagiarism, ethical and privacy issues. What advice would you give them? Should they use a social networking tool to promote their research?” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Task #10 – Problem-solving task <ul><li>In your groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You must: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the pros / cons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare tools and suggest alternatives (if applicable) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify why task is a pertinent Information Literacy skills problem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 minutes preparation time </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Post task feedback <ul><li>Using constructivist approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How could we have improved task? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group Discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use different scenarios (variety increases motivation) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student define scenario </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul></ul></ul>

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