+ Jean Piaget Psychologist Believed that children were constructing new knowledge as they moved through different cognitive stages Children have 4 cognitive stages Sensorimotor Preoperational Concrete Operational Formal Operational
+ Jerome Bruner Psychologist and educator Proposed that learning is an active process Participatory learners Emphasized integrated curriculum where students learn in various way Technology is a big contributor
+ Key Points of Constructivism Constructivism: Problem-based learning Four leading theorists: Piaget, Bruner, Vygotsky, and Dewey Mentoring and Facilitating given by instructors Guides students with support and assistance
+ Key Points Continued Promotes “Self-Direction” Students make connections through learning Includes “Discovery Learning” Based on environmental exploration using trial and error
+ Teacher’s Response The teacher gives the students leeway to “construct” their own version of what is learned The teacher will link the new material with material that the students should already know, thus making it easier for the students to associate the new material to something they are comfortable with Instead of teaching the material the teacher, who in this theory should be looked at as a facilitator, should create an environment where the student is allowed to reach a conclusion all on their own. With some guiding help from the facilitator
+ Teacher’s Response Continued The teacher also needs to create the environment so that the students feel challenged and know that they are supported to “construct” their own way of thinking. The teacher must also be aware that he or she must adapt to the environment of the class and classroom and might have to play multiply roles for the students. The overall goal for the teacher is to get the students to the answer with just a few guidelines, using techniques like reciprocal questioning and jigsaw classroom to get them there.
+ Student’s Response Students learn by forming or constructing what they are learning or comprehending. Students are actively involved. A student constructs ideas by basing it off of previous knowledge they have learned.
+ Student’s Response Continued Students are suppose to base their knowledge and theories on their background, culture, etc. Students do not need to be motivated by adults because they think very differently. Overall students are expected to come up with knowledge on their own based on their own experiences. Also, students do not need to adults to motivate them because they are motivated themselves to learn.
+ Positive Thoughts on Constructivism Support: Students enjoy learning more as they are actively involved Prevents students from focusing on rote memorization and more on thinking and understanding Creates organizing principles that students can take with them to other classrooms and throughout life Ownership of what they learn as they did it themselves and not through a book
+ Negative Thoughts on Constructivism Criticism: Learning by doing may not be the best learning stategy Not all techniques may be best for all learners Some have called it unguided because of the lack of structure Throws students into learning practice without any prior knowledge